In other words, can a 802.11a client connect to the 5 ghz mesh backhaul link? If you enter the command "show ap bss-table ap-name <mesh AP>", will you see 5 gHz radios broadcasting SSIDs?
If I read your statement/question correctly, you CAN have clients on AOS Controller-based 5GHz mesh links. It's not generally advised unless the mesh link is just for WLAN extension, but you can certainly allow the 5Ghz AOS Controller-based mesh radio serve mesh links and clients at the same time. You just have to place the VAP as dual-band on the AP group.
Controller based Mesh also allow clients to connect on backhaul radio ( 'a' radio by default), but it is not a good practice, it causes performance issues for clients.
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