When this Swaziland News was established and subsequently became critical against Mswati’s regime, eSwatini Government released a press statement declaring it a ‘fake news’ platform.
Now, the same government through the police and the Director of Public Prosecution(DPP) has submitted electronic evidence in the form of videos, downloaded from a publication that was declared as a fake news platform.
Legally, the editor and or a representative of this publication should have been paraded as a witness against the MPs to confirm that indeed, the videos were authentic and were published by this Swaziland News.
It’s a gross violation of Copyright laws not to mention the Law of Evidence for the eSwatini Government to use our content and persecute the pro-democracy MPs.
I am not a lawyer by profession but as an investigation student with over ten(10) experience as an investigative journalist.
It is my observation that the police criminal investigators and the office of the DPP knew that electronic evidence should at least be supported by testimonial evidence to convince Judge Mumcy Dlamini that indeed the MPs committed a crime.
In this regard, the evidence was sourced from an online platform declared by Government as illegal and lacks credibility, how can an ‘illegal’ platform that lacks credibility in the eyes of the same Government produce credible evidence?
Criminal cases are governed by the “beyond reasonable doubt principle” and it remains to be seen when will the Crown or the office of the DPP parade the editor of this publication to testify, support and give credibility to their ‘stolen’ electronic evidence.
A criminal investigation should be conducted in accordance with the law and or the fundamental principles of investigations, you cannot use illegal tactics and then produce credible evidence.
Even though this publication is recognized by credible international media organizations like the BBC, SABC, eTV, Voice of America, Mail and Guardian among others, eSwatini Government opted to collude with the Times and Observer to try and discredit it in the eyes of the masses.
A government press statement declared this publication a fake news platform and the State controlled media houses like the Times were enjoying the collaboration between them and the State as they tried to tarnish the image of this independent media organization, fortunately, they failed.
Now, the State is parading evidence from a platform declared as fake, one was hoping that the Times would report that Judge Mumcy is currently hearing evidence from a fake news platform so that the MPs could be released.
But because our content was ‘stolen’ to persecute the pro-democracy MPs, the Government and its captured media agents no longer talk about the Swaziland News being a fake news platform particularly because the people and the international community refused to be blinded, people followed this publication in numbers.
As the situation stands,we have over 200 000 followers on Facebook and over two(2) million readers on the website who are following and enjoying uncensored news in this platform.
In conclusion, it is important to state that the case against the MPs lacks evidence particularly because, the editor being the publisher will never testify against the MPs as a witness of the Crown.
When a student studies investigation he/she is taught at the early stage of the course that evidence must corroborate and link the suspect.
Who will provide testimonial evidence and the corroborate what the Crown is currently submitting before Judge Mummcy Dlamini?
I am yet to see how the Judge will conclude that these MPs are guilty based on evidence that came from the ‘air’ and never corroborated by the testimony of a key witness being the editor who published that information.
Judge Mumcy Dlamini.