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Cekeshe: No justification for damaging property during a protest

Kanya Cekeshe has been on parole for two months now after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a remission of sentences to offenders in December last year.

 Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe. Picture: Radio 702.

JOHANNESBURG - Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe has conceded that damage to property can never be justified during protests.

Cekeshe has been on parole for two months now after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a remission of sentence to offenders in December last year.

He had been behind bars since 2017, serving an eight-year sentence for damage to property and public violence during the 2016 Fees Must Fall protests.

Speaking on 702, Cekeshe said that he believed that his arrest was meant to counter the Fees Must Fall movement.

"Essentially, the aim was to silence the voices within the movement itself. The aim was to kill the Fees Must fall movement."

He was found guilty of setting a police vehicle alight but his lawyers argued that there was insufficient evidence.

Cekeshe said protesters did not just damage property.

"We need to take it into context, we cannot just focus on the fact that 'OK, students are now burning a building'. What happened in order for that situation to get out of hand?"

Asked if there was any justification for damaging property, this is what Cekeshe had to say.

"No, it cannot be justified."

The student activist said that those in power must learn to listen with urgency when concerns were raised.

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