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JUDGE DISMISSES POINTS OF LAW ON JURISDICTION WITH COSTS

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MBABANE - High Court Judge Doris Tshabalala says the matter that was before her was a simple application to grant mandatory order directing the registrar of the Supreme Court and the chief justice to perform their public statutory functions.

She said  the mandatory order that was being sought by the applicants (MPs Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube) was one compelling the respondents (registrar of the Supreme Court and chief justice) to ensure enrolment of their bail appeal for hearing on an urgent basis before the Supreme Court.  The judge further observed that the application was based on assertions that there had been an inordinate delay since October when the urgent bail appeal was said to be ripe for hearing, with no date set.

Allegations

She said there were allegations on non-response to inquiries on the delay. “It is the view of this court that it has jurisdiction in the matter. The court’s jurisdiction is derived from its unlimited original jurisdiction conferred by the Constitution, and further from the nature of the relief sought,” said Judge Tshabalala. She also stated that it was trite that the respondents held public office and that their functions, which were the subject of this application, were both administrative and prescribed by the law.

“For instance, Rule 14 titled ‘Notice of hearing’ provides at sub rule (1) that the registrar shall, after obtaining directions from judge president, cause notice of the date of hearing to be served upon the appellant and the respondent,” said the judge. Judge Tshabalala said from the foregoing analysis and findings, the points of law raised on jurisdiction were dismissed with costs.

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