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MTHANDENI DISTANCES HIMSELF FROM BACEDE’S STATEMENTS

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MBABANE - Former Ngwempisi Member of Parliament (MP) Mthandeni Dube says former Hosea MP Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza’s testimony had nothing to do with him.

He disassociated himself from Mabuza’s statements yesterday when he took to the dock to make his submissions. Unlike Mabuza, who decided to make an unsworn statement, Dube first took an oath where he promised to speak the truth and nothing but the truth. It took Dube about 44 minutes to make his submissions.

He told the court that he had no comments on what was said by Mabuza. Dube said this after the prosecution had asked if he recalled the testimony made by Mabuza on Wednesday. He was also asked how far he agreed with Mabuza’s testimony.

Testimony

“Did you hear Mabuza’s testimony yesterday (on Wednesday)? Is there anything you disagree with from his testimony?” Advocate Gareth Lepan, who is representing the Crown in the matter, asked Dube. In response, Dube stated that he was representing the people of Ngwempisi and that his job was over. He said there were new MPs responsible for holding government accountable.

Dube said the only thing on his mind was to do something that would develop his community. He mentioned that whatever statement he made, he did it as an MP at the time. On Wednesday, Mabuza declared that he would rather die in jail for his differing political views and the truth.

Adamant

He said it was not in dispute that emaSwati wanted to be freed and elect their own government. Mabuza further mentioned that despite his arrest and subsequent conviction, he was still adamant that the country needed democracy.
He told the court that he still believed that the prime minister (PM) must be fully elected by the people and not appointed by His Majesty the King. According to Mabuza, a PM who was appointed by the King did not have the interest of the people at heart.

Last year, the duo of Mabuza and Dube was found guilty of terrorism (inciting violence during the June/July 2021 unrest) and murder, among other charges. The difference between Dube and Mabuza’s statement is that the sworn statement carries more weight than the unsworn one. An accused person who chooses to make an unsworn statement is not cross-examined by the prosecution.

This was evident on Wednesday as the Crown did not cross examine Mabuza, but yesterday its legal representative asked Dube a few questions. During cross-examination, Dube maintained that he had nothing to do with the statements that were made by his co-accused. Advocate Lepan, who is representing the State, tried to  question Dube based on what was said by Mabuza, but he remained resolute that he had nothing to do with same.

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