MBABANE:Justice Minister Pholile Shakantu stands accused of using the name of King Mswati to intimidate MPs to reverse a Parliament decision regarding the suspension of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act (POCA) that was hijacked by a powerful political syndicate to seize properties of dagga farmers.
This comes after Hosea MP Mduduzi ‘Bacede’ Mabuza successfully moved a motion that resulted to the suspension of the law which he described as unconstitutional and anti-Swati when making submissions in Parliament before Speaker Petros Mavimbela.
“Whether the law is unconstitutional or not, any leader should conduct an introspection if the people are happy with it” said the MP when making submissions in Parliament.
But now it has emerged that Cabinet through the Justice Minister Pholile Dlamini-Shakantu and the Attorney General Sifiso Khumalo are secretly using the name of the King to force MPs to reverse the decision regarding the suspension of law. Insiders within Parliament told this publication that the lobbying intensified on Wednesday afternoon and a political stand-off looms within Parliament as some MPs now want the suspension of law reversed and some are calling for its amended as per the resolution.
This publication is possession of evidence suggesting that the Justice Minister Pholile Dlamini-Shakantu did call MPs pleading with them to reverse the decision to suspend the law.
“We are being lobbied by the Justice Minister and other Ministers linked to the Prime Minister and the King’s name is used to intimidate us to reverse the suspension of POCA. It’s going to be tough because a majority of the MPs are not willing to do that. However, some are already within the pocket of Cabinet and they will push for the reversal of the decision” said an MP who spoke to this publication on Wednesday afternoon.
At the time of compiling this report, the Justice Minister had not shared a comment or responded to our questions on the subject matter.
Reached for comments, Attorney General Sifiso Khumalo said his office remain independent with responsibilities clearly outlined in the Constitution adding that lobbying was not part of his duties.
“I know nothing about lobbying, why not share with me the names of those I lobbied or let them come in the open” he said.
The Attorney General reminded this journalist that as someone who knows him personally, he should at least focus on the ‘real’ issue that a law has been suspended by a Parliament resolution.
“And as a journalist of note and someone who knows me personally, shouldn’t your concern be, can a law be suspended by a Parliamentary resolution? Literature in this regard is abound. What does this do to the rule of law. Why ignore the real issues Mlangeni?” said the Attorney General.
King Mswati III