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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.

Comments (10 posted):

For justice on 18/03/2014 06:13:13
Why arrest the man? If he had a case to answer why not have him go to the court in the morning. The mere fact that things were orchestrated that he spends time in jail before he appears in court suggests intention to cause harm than to seek justice. In life what we do to others will one day be done to us.Is this what they call justice in first world?
Vuswa on 18/03/2014 06:18:36
Now we're going to lose AGOA definitely! What happened to freedom of expression as spelt out by the constitution?? As Swazis are we supposed to be quiet at all times even when we see things going wrong, be it with the police or the justice system? what are we supposed to say when it is 'the holy cow' that's messing up things????
Mandla on 18/03/2014 08:41:29
I can only hope that there was no malice involved in the man's arrest because malice and justice are diametrically opposed. Sometimes it's not what one does to pursue justice but it's 'how'. On the 'how' factor I have serious reservations because I don't see how the interest of justice is served by having a highly respected lawyer committed into a jail cell over night. The question of malicious intent rears its ugly head again. The good thing about natural justice is that what goes around comes around.
sunshine langa(SDC) on 18/03/2014 10:29:01
When the lunatic is running the show, you are guaranteed to c Stupidity @ its best
What happened to freedom of expression? sikuphi katsi la. That’s mornachical democracy for you. What goes around comes around. The transfer of power to the people is nearer. nakuwe kuyeta-lisondvo liyagicika.tinyembeti temaswati atiweli phansi and kukhala kwesive ukuvile simakadze n angeke abadzele kube sekupheleni. Let them enjoy for the last few moments –imsebe seyiyabonakala. Joy comes in the morning. new day is coming
nims on 18/03/2014 10:51:34
this is Swaziland where it's a crime to voice your view on what's happening .thus claiming to be pulpit of Africa at the same time,,but GOD IN HEAVEN SEES AND HEAR THE CRY OF THE OPPRESSED .one day HE will come to our rescue.
Sabelo Dlamini on 18/03/2014 11:00:23
We need a Messiah who will take us out of this misery. What is happening to my respected lawyer Mr Thulani Maseko is Vision 2022. This will be a daily bread by 2022. The government will built more prisons to accommodate people who express themselves. No to the renewal of AGOA in May.
siyabonga hlophe on 18/03/2014 11:01:51
Who will save us from Makulubaas?
Rudulfia Lascorpa on 18/03/2014 14:14:15
They tried it before when he spoke of a bridge named after MJ and they'll try it again but his guy can really challenge the neanderthals of the Swazi court system! Push the limits but all means possible.
Dibongza on 18/03/2014 14:54:37
I agree with you Vuswa. The Prime Minister should see that when people complain about the lack of freedom of speech and other freedoms enshrined in the constitution, they are not lying to the international community as he contented. My prediction is that if we lose the AGOA benefits those in power will blame the global economic downturn or unscrupulous Americans capitalist etc instead of attributing the lose of these benefits to the real reason: their gross, unrestrained abuse of power
banele on 18/03/2014 15:58:18
Swaziland is lame and a joke.BY doing these funny shenanigans,its becoming clear to other leaders,people in other countries that Swaziland is MSWATI LAND.We will only be left with our monarchical democracy{NONSENSE}

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