When magistrate Theunis Carstens handed a judgement and denied bail to Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe, not only his family and friends felt the pain, but the entire nation.
Government leaders, politicians, political parties and the public at large appealed to the justice system to free Cekeshe.
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola has since announced that he will be leading the charge for Cekeshe to be granted a presidential pardon.
While the Economic Freedom Fighters has indicated that it will be appealing Carstens’ judgement.
Carsten’s judgement has once again thrown the country’s justice system back into the spotlight.
For many years, many have harboured thoughts that the justice system of this country is lenient to some, while harsh to others.
Its a simple case of some animals are more equal than others.
The race issue also surfaces, with many stating that the justice system treats different races differently.
Does South Africa’s justice system really see colour and class?
That’s the question that has been dominating in the social media and public forums.
Cekeshe, who has been in jail for over two years for his role in the 2015 student uprising over the increment of fees in higher institutions, is seen by many as a victim of this system that sees colour and class.
Many of the activists at institutions such as the University of Cape Town, who committed the same crimes as Cekeshe, were given a free pass as charges against them were dropped.
However, it seems like the justice system is refusing to grant the same courtesy to Cekeshe.
Is it because he does not have parents who have powers and access to the powers that be?
Is it the fact that he represents a group in which the system is meant to oppress and dehumanise?
Convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius was granted bail, despite posing a real and serious threat to society.
However, Cekeshe, who was fighting for a just course and poses little threat to society was refused bail.
That does not look like a fair system.
While everyone acknowledges a crime that was committed in this regard, its only fair for the system to also treat him in the same manner, it does to rapists and murderers.
The judiciary is often lauded for its independence, however, it seems like it is cannot be celebrated for its fairness.
One just hopes that the high court will set aside Carstens’ ruling and Cekeshe be allowed to be a free man.
The judiciary does not want a situation whereby citizens will start demanding a judge of a certain race for specific cases.
The fairness must be done across all the courts level, that’s all we ask.