Cape Town - #FeesMustFall protesters arrested for alleged public violence at the University of the Western Cape could be set free from Pollsmoor prison earlier than expected.

UWC director of legal services Shervaan Rajie told Weekend Argus on Saturday the institution had appealed for bail for the 25 students who appeared at the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

In all 35 students were arrested on Wednesday but only 25 appeared in court, where they were denied bail and sent to Pollsmoor. They were set to appear for a bail hearing on Friday.

Concerned parents were left in tears and were concerned about the safety of their children in prison.

Rajie said UWC “negotiated with the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) to bring forward the Friday date”.


“We asked them to speed up the process so the students can be processed by Monday or Tuesday.

“The police need to do background checks to see if they (students) have criminal records. The state will then make a decision on bail.

“They are our students. We decided to help them.

“The law must still take its course. We are not getting involved in whether students are guilty or not, that is for the courts to decide. For now we want them out of jail as soon as possible.”

Student protest leaders, however, remain unimpressed with UWC management, which they say do not care about their demands for free university education.

Xolani Zekani, one of UWC’s protest leaders, said students wanted to bring forward the bail application.

“They (UWC management) always say they care about the students. It’s not genuine concern.”

He said students had already started raising R75 000 for bail, assuming the bail fee for each of the 25 would be R3 000.

“Our students were charged R3 000 bail last year and this year when they were arrested. We will raise R75 000.

“We always appeal to civil society, NGOs and churches. They donated last year. We have also received money from the US for the bail


Independent Online