LAWYER THULANI MASEKO ARRESTED
MBABANE – Mbabane-based senior lawyer Thulani Maseko has been arrested and charged with contempt of court.
This comes after Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi yesterday issued a warrant for his apprehension.
Maseko, a resident of Bhunya under Chief Mfanawenkhosi, was arrested by members of the Royal Swaziland Police while at his offices yesterday. The armed police officers are said to have arrived at Maseko’s offices situated at the Swazi Plaza at around 6pm.
Maseko’s law firm is trading as T.R Maseko.
The warrant follows an article which he wrote in the Nation Magazine where he was questioning circumstances surrounding the arrest of Chief Government Vehicle Inspector, Bhantshana Gwebu.
Gwebu was recently arrested and charged with contempt of court after he arrested a driver of High Court Judge Esther Ota. He spent nine days at the Sidwashini Correctional facility before he was admitted to E15 000 bail. He was, however, ordered to pay E2 500 cash and his case is still pending at the High Court.
Also cited in the warrant of arrest that was issued and signed by the Chief Justice is Nation Magazine Editor Bheki Makhubu. Maseko and Makhubu are alleged to have written different articles in the magazine about the Judiciary where they were questioning the rationale behind Gwebu’s arrest.
The contents of the article which appeared in the magazine cannot be repeated for ethical reasons.
According to Sibusiso Nhlabatsi, who is employed by Maseko’s law firm, when the police officers arrived in the office they demanded to see his boss and they were carrying the warrant of apprehension.
“We were about to leave the office when four armed police officers arrived at our offices and demanded to see Maseko. Two of the police officers were in uniform while the others told us that they were from the CID office,” he said.
Nhlabatsi said after a brief conversation the police then left with Maseko and they were later informed that he has been detained at the Mbabane Police Station.
“I went to check him at the police station and I was told that he will appear at the High Court tomorrow (today) morning.
Maseko is currently detained at the Mbabane Police Station pending his court appearance today.
This is not the first time for the well-known Human Rights Lawyer to be arrested as he was once charged with sedition.
He was charged with Contravening Section 5 (1) read with Section 5 (2) (a) (i) or (ii) or read with Section 5 (2) (d) of the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act of 1938 as amended, in that on May 1 (Workers Day) at Manzini Salesian Sports Ground he unlawfully uttered words with a subversive intention but was later admitted to bail.
Maseko’s alleged sedition case appears on the list of the over 200 cases that have been recalled by the High Court. When called at 8:32pm Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Wendy Hleta said there was no such report that had reached her officer.