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MBABANE – Human Rights Lawyer Thulani Maseko lost his temper in court and told Judge Mpendulo Simelane to start behaving like a judge.

Maseko told judge off during his court appearance alongside his co-accused, The Nation Magazine Editor Bheki Makhubu, yesterday.  The Human Rights Lawyer became emotional after Judge Simelane reprimanded them for not standing up when their matter was called.

The duo was arrested by members of the Royal Swaziland Police on Wednesday evening after Judge Simelane had issued a warrant of arrest against them for failing to appear before him.
Maseko was inside the accused dock with his co-accused when he suddenly stood up to address the judge.
There was silence in court as Maseko told the judge that he had to start conducting himself like a judge. Maseko was visibly upset and gestured with his hands as he addressed the judge who continuously tried to speak over him.
His Lawyer Mandla Mkhwanazi remained in his seat as Maseko addressed the judge.
There was a round of applause from those who were in attendance as the visibly angry Maseko dressed down the judge.
“You are a judge of the High Court and you must start behaving like one. Go ahead and issue a warrant of arrest. Do not treat us like children. We have our legal representatives here and you must take the war to them. You wanted us to be arrested and here we are today I am getting tired of you,” said Maseko.

Judge Simelane asked Lawyer Mkhwanazi to address him on the conduct of his client (Maseko). Mkhwanazi was, at first, reluctant but he later apologised to the judge on behalf of Maseko.
“I am at pains to explain what transpired and I would like to render our apologies for what happened today.
“I also apologise on behalf of my client,” Mkhwanazi said.
Before remanding the accused in custody, Judge Simelane said Maseko’s conduct was highly contemptuous. 
“The conduct of Maseko is highly contemptuous and what he did is unacceptable as he is an attorney of this court and he knows how he should conduct himself,” said Judge Simelane.
The judge also informed Maseko that he had powers to convict any person of any conduct when that behaviour was not acceptable.
“I have been persuaded by the apology by Mr Mkhwanazi and that made me not to take drastic steps. Otherwise I should be summarily sentencing the accused (Maseko) now,” he said.
Judge Simelane said the reason he wanted the accused to stand up was to enquire why they were not in court the previous day (Wednesday), instead he was defied and further insulted.

Comments (4 posted):

Justinian Hargrove on 11/04/2014 09:00:10
What a circus!! And this is the quality of "judges" we have. Why do we appoint these inexperienced juveniles to such important positions of power? Sadly, appointment to the judicature is based NOT on competence or fitness to hold office but on vulnerability. In that way, the government can control judges. Does anyone still doubt that we are a failed state?
ntro on 11/04/2014 11:51:13
This thing of contempt of court for Bheki Makhumbu and Thulani Maseko is really annoying. It makes the country courts appears as kangaroo courts. Our judges should stop personalizing matters and act fairly. Where is the freedom of expression, when one look at this matter at hand. Hawu lafa elinhle kakhulu. Let me end here cuase I might be next victim if Im not by now.

Best regards
welcome on 11/04/2014 12:55:14
The courts of this land have lost respect. Its image has been destroyed by itself. I remember the time of former C.J. Stanely Sappire where every Swazi trusted the courts.
Ntokozo Sacolo on 11/04/2014 18:10:21
I dont blame for loosing his cool , any other sensible human would. The onus is on the judge to behave as one like advised. He (judge) is not a God bt a judge hence the need to stop behaving like a god.

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