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MBABANE - The Nation Magazine Editor Bheki Makhubu is demanding E3.7 million from government as compensation for unlawful arrest, prosecution and detention.

He spent 470 days in jail, which is almost one and a half years.
The amount demanded by Makhubu is in respect of malicious arrest, prosecution and arrest, defamation of character, emotional trauma, shock and discomfort as well as legal costs incurred during trial.


Makhubu was sentenced to two years imprisonment with Human Rights Lawyer Thulani Maseko after they were found guilty of contempt of court by suspended High Court Judge Mpendulo Simelane in March 2014.
They were eventually released by the Supreme Court after the Crown conceded that their arrest, prosecution and detention were unlawful and malicious.
Through his lawyers from Fakudze Attorneys, Makhubu has since forwarded a letter of demand to government wherein he is demanding payment of this amount.

Makhubu’s attorneys narrated how he was detained in conditions which were cold and damp and where there was no direct sunlight for most of the day.
“The cell which was in the maximum security section of the prison with a wall surrounding it was overcrowded and our client was forced to sleep on the floor with only one thin mat and no sleeping pillow,” reads part of Makhubu’s letter of demand.

Makhubu’s attorneys stated that the letter was sent in terms of Section 2(1) of the Limitation of Legal Proceedings against Government Act 21/1972.
In the letter dated October 13, 2015, the lawyers stated that he (Makhubu) was arrested by members of the Royal Swaziland Police on March 18, 2015, following a warrant of arrest issued by the then Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi.
The Nation Magazine editor and Maseko were charged with contempt of court by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

According to the lawyers, a week after his (Makhubu) first remand he appeared before Judge Simelane, where he was further remanded in custody while awaiting trial.
“Our client and his then co- accused brought in an urgent application in the High Court to have the warrant of arrest declared null and void and set aside. This matter was allocated to Judge Mumcy Dlamini and was heard on April 4, 2014,” reads the letter of demand.

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