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MBABANE – The High Court has dismissed with costs an application by the Law Society of Swaziland challenging the appointment of Judge Mpendulo Simelane.

It took less than five minutes for the court to dismiss the application for non-appearance by the Law Society. This was after the society was called three times and there was no response.
The matter was heard by the full bench comprising newly sworn-in Judge Abande Dlamini sitting together with acting Judges Mbuso Simelane and Bongani Dlamini.

The dismissal of the application was read by Judge Abande Dlamini.
South African Advocate Norman Kades appeared on behalf of the State. The law society is represented by South African Advocate Barry Skinner on instruction by Howe and Sibandze Attorneys.
The Society’s representatives arrived in court at about 10am yet the application was dismissed just after 9:30am.

The Society filed an urgent application at the High Court praying for the urgent stopping of Judge Simelane from carrying out his duties as a judge of the High Court.
In the initial application, the Law Society wants the appointment of Judge Simelane declared null and void because they believe that he does not qualify to be a judge.

It is the feeling of the Society that the Constitution was overlooked when he was appointed. Simelane is the former Registrar of the High Court.
According to Section 154(1) (b) of the Constitution “a person shall not be appointed as a judge of the High Court unless he/she has been a legal practitioner, barrister or advocate of not less than 10 years’ practice in Swaziland or any part of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.”

The Law Society argued that Judge Simelane has only practiced as a Crown counsel for only five years. Simelane, in his responding papers, said he had been in practice for the past ten years.
They stated that his appointment will affect the rule of law and administration of justice in Swaziland since his continued sitting and rendering judgments will be executable on face value.

However, Judge Simelane stated that he would not step down as a judge since he had been constitutionally appointed by the King.
He said that the Law Society of Swaziland was challenging the King by contending his appointment.

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