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Judge Mary Sey leaves SD

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MBABANE – Barely two years in the Swaziland Judiciary, Commonwealth Judge Mary Sey is leaving.

This publication has exclusively gathered that Judge Mary Sey will be leaving today to take up the post of a Judge of the Court of Appeal in the Vanuatu Island in the Pacific.

Sey had been seconded to the country by the Commonwealth Secretariat in November 2010 on a two-year contract.

A source close to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) disclosed that Judge Sey informed the commission on the re-assignment over a month ago.

The source also disclosed that yesterday was her last day in court when she delivered a judgment acquitting a man who had been charged with murder for killing another who was trying to steal dagga from his fields.

Judge Sey joined the Swaziland Judiciary from the High Court of Sierra Leone where she had worked for three years and eight months. In Sierra Leone, she had been appointed by the British Council under the Justice Sector Development Programme (JSDSP). She presided over criminal and civil cases including corruption matters.

"She will be leaving tomorrow (today) by road to Johannesburg where she is expected to connect a flight to her new job. It is not a resignation due to some problems, but I view it as a promotion, since she would be sitting in the Court of Appeal," the source said.

Judge Sey confirmed her re-assignment by the Commonwealth Secretariat. She stressed that she was not leaving Swaziland due to any problems.

"I work for the Commonwealth Secretariat as you know. So I have been reassigned to the Vanuatu Island and was given a fresh two years. I have enjoyed working in Swaziland; it has been quite an experience," Judge Sey said.

Judge Sey had been allocated cases for the second session of the High Court that began on June 1, 2012 to end on September 2012. She had already heard and finalised some cases, but a number of them were still pending.

She follows Judge Mabel Agyemang who had also been seconded by the Commonwealth Secretariat and Senji Monangeng who now sits in the International Criminal Court.

Judge Agyemang after leaving had to return to finalise a criminal case that had been pending before her. She returned in 2010, to sentence lawyer Thembela Simelane who had been charged with theft of clients’ money from the Motor Vehicle Accidents Fund’s claims.

Efforts to get comment from the JSC Secretary Lorraine Hlophe hit a snag yesterday. When called yesterday afternoon, Hlophe said she was in a meeting and asked that a text message be sent. She had not responded to the message by late yesterday. She had been called three times between 5pm and 6pm but did not answer her phone.

The only remaining judge seconded by the Commonwealth Secretariat is Judge Esther Ota.

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