bail appeal - community protest - Thembelihle - South Gauteng High Court
On 20 October 2011, the South Gauteng High Court released Thembelihle community activist Bhayi Bhayi Miya on bail, pending his trial on charges relating to his participation in a recent community protest at Thembelihle informal settlement in Lenasia. In setting aside a Magistrate’s refusal to grant bail, Judge Kathree-Setiloane said that Miya, a 48 year-old father of three, “should not spend another day in prison”. In the Protea Magistrates’ Court, the state had motivated to keep Miya in preventative detention because he had been responsible for organising recent protests in Thembelihle.
Miya’s appeal to the High Court was based largely on the complete absence of any evidence against him on charges of public violence, arson and malicious damage to property. In the High Court, the state finally conceded that there was almost no evidence linking Miya to the commission of any crime and that he should be granted bail. It was also conceded by the state in its papers that Miya had played an important role in keeping the Thembelihle protests peaceful – even after rubber bullets had been fired into a crowd of protestors.
The case has been consolidated with the other 14 people charged in relation to the Thembelihle protests, and transferred to the Regional Court. Read more on the trial here.