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LEG IRONS FOR BHEKI MAKHUBU

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MBABANE – The Nation Magazine Editor Bheki Makhubu was in leg irons when he was brought to court for his bail application.
There was also tight security as Makhubu was closely guarded by a contingent of armed Correctional officers.


The armed officers were deployed in different strategic points at the High Court.
Makhubu arrived in court at exactly 9am and he was brought in the same van ferrying the six suspects in the alleged knapping of a Japanese businessman.


Before the arrival of the judge, Makhubu, who looked calm, was seen talking to his relatives and lawyer Ncamiso Maxwell Manana.
The leg irons were removed from Makhubu immediately he entered the accused dock and were replaced after the bail hearing.


Support


When he left the courtroom he was in the leg irons and some members of the public who had come to give him moral support were seen greeting him as he walked past them to board a van from the Correctional Services.
The van transporting Makhubu was parked at the back of the High Court building and there were about five armed officers from His Majesty’s Correctional Services.


When the motor vehicle left the High Court it was escorted by another van with five armed officers from the correctional facility on board.
Makhubu will spend another week in jail after he was yesterday remanded back to custody when his application to be released on bail was postponed.


The Nation Magazine Editor is, however, expected back in court on Tuesday with his co-accused Thulani Maseko for a remand. Maseko has not filed any application for bail.
The two are charged with contempt of court after they wrote articles in the Nation Magazine questioning the rationale behind the arrest of Chief Government Vehicle Inspector, Bhatshana Vincent Gwebu.


Urgency


Makhubu’s bail application, which was filed under a certificate of urgency, is being opposed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The DPP’s Office, which was represented by Ayanda Matsenjwa, asked for a postponement of the matter in order to file papers outlining the reasons for opposing Makhubu’s application.


The bail application has been postponed to March 28, 2014 by High Court Judge Mpendulo Simelane.
The matter will before Judge Simelane who yesterday set the time frame for filing of papers by both parties.


“The accused is remanded back to custody until March 28, 2014 which will be the day of hearing his bail application before this court,” he said.
In his bail application Makhubu stated that he would plead not guilty to the charges of contempt of court preferred against him.
In his bail application he stated that on March 17, 2014 while from a business trip out of the country, he received a message from his wife that police officers had come to his residence looking for him.


“Indeed on the stated time, I proceeded to the police station on March 18, 2014 where I was charged with the crime of contempt of court. When the charges are put to me I shall plead not guilty of same in as much as I never intentionally or otherwise scandalised the court in the article that appeared in the magazine,” he stated.


Appeal


He also submitted that he was once convicted for contempt of court by the High Court and he noted an appeal against both conviction and sentence.
Makhubu also undertook to abide by all bail conditions that the courts would put in place for his release. He informed the court that his wife was sickly and was due to appear before a doctor at the Manzini Clinic who was to refer her to a specialist in the Republic of South Africa.
His arrest comes after the Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi issued a warrant of apprehension against him and Maseko on Monday.
The accused are currently kept at the Sidwashini Correctional facility pending their next court appearance.


In the first count, it is alleged that during the month of February 2014 at or near Mbabane each and or all of them, acting in furtherance of a common purpose, did unlawfully and intentionally violate and undermine the dignity, repute and authority of the High Court of Swaziland.
They are alleged to have issued and published malicious and contemptuous statements about the case of the State against Gwebu High Court Case No. 25/2014, a criminal matter currently pending before the High Court.


In the charge sheet it is alleged that the two compared the judicial officer who issued the warrant against Gwebu to Caiphus who led Jesus to his killers, alleged that the judicial officer ‘massaged’ the law to suit his own agenda, alleged that the judicial officer collaborated with ‘willing servants’ to break the law and that they falsely alleged that Gwebu was denied legal representation.


Unlawfully


In the second count they are alleged to have, during the month of March 2014, unlawfully and intentionally undermined the repute and authority of the High Court of Swaziland in that they issued and published malicious and contemptuous statements about the case of King against Gwebu.
This time they are alleged to have stated that the arrest of Gwebu was a demonstration of ‘corrupt’ abuse of authority and lacking in moral authority or was a ‘demonstration of moral bankruptcy’, that the proceedings against Gwebu are a ‘travesty of justice’ and that the proceedings against Gwebu were aimed at settling personal scores and that the idea behind these proceedings was to ensure that he was ‘dealt with’.

Comments (6 posted):

live nd love on 22/03/2014 07:43:38
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did makhubu kill,what is de leg iron for?
Motjo on 22/03/2014 08:03:09
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Was it necessary to put Bhekie Makhubu with slave shackles as if to send a message that we could be back in slavery times? Was he going to escape? And escape to where? Unless the shackles were there to rob him of his dignity which is guaranteed under the constitution. But no one respects the constitution these days. Why are we doing these things to ordinary family men like Bhekie because this country will be made to pay for these things by the international community. When AGOA is lost it will affect ordinary Swazis and not the people who take this callous decisions to settle personal scores. I work for a company that relies on AGOA and I can't be expected to keep quiet when my own family will be affected financially by these arrests when I lose my job. Who will we turn to now, as Swazis, when even the very institutions that mete out justice are found wanting. And when you point out this fact, one is deemed to be in contempt. Contempt of what when we speak the truth without malicious intent? We mean well here.
Nje on 22/03/2014 08:09:44
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Next week Tuesday I suggest that all newspapers in Swaziland must publish an empty newspapaper with nothing written on it because it's very clear the intention is to gag freedom of expression in the country. It can't be business as usual because this is a different ball game being played and it's destroying innocent lives. Today it's Bhekie and Masek and tomorrow it will be us. We can't fold our arms and say it's not us in the dock. Bhekie and Maseko represent all peace-loving and responsible Swazis and they should be supported through this ordeal. The good thing in life is that the hunters of today will become the hunted tomorrow because the wheels of justice will turn against those people. We can't abuse our office to settle personal scores, that's wrong!!
Justice on 22/03/2014 11:57:32
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Futsi i Swaziland!!!
S.Z on 22/03/2014 17:18:14
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I reserve my comments. Ncesini boNgcamane nani Bomakhubu
S.Zikalala on 22/03/2014 20:22:59
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i reserve my comments. Ncesini boMakhubu nani Bomaseko

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