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PUDEMO member who challenged King freed as Crown withdrew charges

Tuesday, 19th May, 2020

MBABANE:Goodwill Sibiya, the member of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) who was arrested for challenging the authority of King Mswati has been freed after the State withdrew the charges.

This was confirmed to this Swaziland News by his lawyer Thulani Maseko who said the trial was supposed to start today(Tuesday) but the Crown decided to withdraw the charges.

“Yes, he has been freed, the trial was supposed to start today but the Crown decided withdrew the charges” said the lawyer.

Sibiya was charged under the Suppression of Terrorism Act 2008 and the Sedition and Subversive activities Act 1939.

In October 2019, the Crown first withdrew the sedition charge where he was accused of unlawfully attesting to an affidavit containing falsehood with the intention to bring hatred, contempt or to incite disaffection against the person of His Majesty the King. The political activist was also facing the charge of allegedly Contravening Section 19(1) of the Supression of Terrorism Act 2008, that was also withdrawn today. 

It is regarded a crime in eSwatini to criticize the King or express an opinion with the way the country is governed. Political activists face torture, harassment or even killed by the police for their political believes.  

PUDEMO member who challenged King freed as Crown withdrew charges
Goodwill Sibiya with lawyer Thulani Maseko