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GOVT’S BID TO BAR MBONGWA, ‘AW’VIVA’, LOT FROM COURT

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MBABANE – Government is seeking an order barring SNAT President Mbongwa Dlamini from entering the courtroom where his matter will be heard.

The applicant (government) also wants the court to debar President of the proscribed Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) Sakhile ‘Aw’viva’ Nxumalo and Secretary General (SG) of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) Lot Vilakati from coming into the court to listen to the arguments of Mbongwa’s matter. According to the applicant, Nxumalo and Vilakati were allegedly interfering with the exercise of the judicial power exercised by judges, with threats of naming and shaming them, so long as they handled the matter of the SNAT president.

In its application, the government further wants the court to direct Mbongwa to retract, apologise and/or disassociate himself from the statements that were issued by Nxumalo after he was purportedly invited by Vilakati, who was allegedly acting in cohort with him (Mbongwa). During Mbongwa’s last court appearance, Nxumalo and Vilakati are said to have issued threats against the judges of the Industrial Court and the lawyer representing government in the matter. Government urged the court to only allow Mbongwa to enter the courtroom after he had issued the apology, retracted the statements and/or disassociated himself from same but also direct the SNAT president to retract and issue an apology in the national newspapers circulating in the Kingdom of Eswatini and the SNAT Facebook page whereupon he must rebuke Nxumalo and Vilakati for attacking the Judiciary. Failing which, they entreated the court to strike the matter off the roll, only to be reinstated with the leave of court. It is further the applicant’s plea to the court that it should be granted leave to play a video that was posted on SNAT Facebook page that was taken on September 18, 2023, showing the briefing done by Mbongwa and Nxumalo.

Dismissed

Mbongwa is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the government after he was dismissed from work and his matter is pending in the Industrial Court, which is situated at Madlenya Building in Mbabane. Applicants in the application for the interdict are the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and the attorney general (AG). Respondents are Mbongwa, Vilakati, Nxumalo, Law Society of Eswatini, Judicial Service Commission (JSC), registrar of the Industrial Court and the national commissioner of police. In his founding affidavit, TSC Executive Secretary Nhlanhla Dlamini averred that the Industrial Court had jurisdiction over the matter because its cause of action arose within it. He told the court that the acts of the respondents were an attack to the Constitution and treasonous.

He narrated to the court that on September 18, 2023,  Mbongwa, Nxumalo and Vilakati, acting in common purpose, at the entrance of where the Industrial Court is situated, in an impromptu briefing set-up and then posted on their Facebook page name SNAT platform, threatened the judge allocated Mbongwa’s matter  and any judge dealing with any case involving him (Mbongwa). They allegedly threatened to dig their past and divulge same on or before September 28, 2023, so that it could be shown that they were not credible enough to sit and hear the matter.

Shocked

“The first to third respondent (Mbongwa, Nxumalo, Vilakati) acting in common purpose, stated that they now have or were aware of the judgment of  the main matter, which has shocked us as to how the learned judge and members could communicate with the said respondents even before the matter is heard,” submitted the  TSC executive secretary. He went on to state that the respondents further threatened the lawyer who had been assigned the matter to be shamed about his dark secrets so that he could drop the matter. According to the executive secretary, the respondents further threatened any other government lawyer who might be assigned any matter involving Mbongwa. He submitted that Vilakati stated that Assistant Attorney General Mbuso Simelane was the enemy of SNAT, thus making him a subject of attack by alleged militant SNAT members, who were purportedly encouraged by the trio to up their game of being militant. “In the attack on our lawyer, Mbongwa and Vilakati exhibited a vote of no confidence on their lawyer Luck Howe as being weak and not able to stand toe-to-toe with Mbuso Simelane in arguments but only hired to show face in court and issue a statement of account at the end of the day,” alleged Nhlanhla.

He told the court that the applicants had confidence in Howe and it was unfair what Mbongwa was allegedly imputing about his legal prowess as he moved a very difficult recusal application, supposedly per his (Mbongwa) instructions against Judge Abande Dlamini. “It must be noted that Nxumalo, who  was acting as an agent of Mbongwa, went on to threaten the honourable judges and members that on September 28, 2023, when the matter is to be heard, he will invite a lot of people,” he argued.

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