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MBABANE – Senior lawyer Siboniso Clement Dlamini, who has been debarred from appearing in all courts in the country, has reported the chief justice to the Human Rights Commission.

Chief Justice (CJ) Bheki Maphalala stopped Dlamini from making court appearances anywhere in Eswatini, until he complied with an order compelling him to contribute E8 000 towards the maintenance of a widow. This happened on April 9, 2018.
The widow, Phindile Ndzinisa, took him to court regarding the alleged mismanagement of her late husband’s estate valued at nearly E900 000.

After being banned by the CJ, Dlamini filed an urgent application in the High Court challenging his debarment. This application, in which he instructed Advocate Lucas Maziya to represent him, is yet to see the light of day.

In a letter dated April 25, 2018, the senior lawyer informed the Human Rights Commission that it was allegedly illegal for the CJ to ban him from appearing in the courts and that he had no authority to do so.

He said Maphalala allegedly abused his authority and office, resulting in the violation of his (Dlamini) right to appear before the courts. Dlamini informed the commission that Maphalala’s act of debarring him was allegedly unenforceable because he had no power to do so.
When Chief Justice Maphalala made the pronouncement last month, he cited Sections 139 (5) and 142 of the Constitution and said;
“In exercise of my powers as Chief Justice vested in me in terms of Sections 139 (5) and 142 of the Constitution, I direct that you be barred and consequently shall not appear in all the courts of Swaziland until such time that you have purged your contempt.”

The Law Society of Swaziland, in a subsequent meeting, mentioned that the sections of the Constitution cited by the chief justice had nothing to do with the debarring of guilty lawyers but the administration of justice.

In his letter to the Human Rights Commission, Dlamini alleged that the CJ issued an instruction that the urgent application he filed challenging the decision to ban him from the courts, should be removed from the registry and the roll.

Dlamini narrated that he cited the CJ as a respondent in that application and when his attorney issued the process, he was allegedly advised at the registry that he was not permitted to issue any process and to challenge the CJ.

 He stated that he then approached the Law Society of Swaziland (LSS) in order to obtain a case number.
He alleged that one of the members of the LSS assisted him to obtain the case number and that the member was allegedly advised at the registry that he was not permitted to open the file on his behalf. He alleged that the instruction came from the chief justice.

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