MPUMALANGA: King Mswati has taken Swaziland News editor Zweli Martin Dlamini to the Mpumalanga High Court in South Africa over articles that were published about him, his Government and the royal family.
In his court papers, the King who is represented by Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku, in his capacity as head of the Executive Arm of Government wants the court to grant him a mandatory interdict ordering and directing the online publication and its editor at least give seven(7) calendar days notice excluding one(1) one public holiday before publishing any article “which is prima facie defamatory and or critical” of the King and or the Government of eSwatini, Ministers or any member of the royal family in eSwatini.
The King also wants the editor to send the written story and or content to Government Spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini and his Deputy Thabile Mdluli and give them seven(7) days to read the whole story so they can comment accordingly.
“With the written content of the material as well as a list of questions in relation to the proposed publication to be published in order for the applicant to comment thereon and to publish any comment furnished by the applicant in conjunction with any article published by the respondents of and concerning the applicant, the Government of eSwatini and/or the Head of State of eSwatini and/or a Minister or public servant in the Government of eSwatini and/or a member of the Royal Family in eSwatini in a way in which and in accordance with what is expected of a responsible journalist and/or news publication as provided for in the South African Code of Ethics, a copy of which is annexed to the founding affidavit as annexure” ,read the papers in part.
The King further wants the editor and the online publication to agree that the matter be referred to a mediator to narrow the issues that may be in dispute and open negotiations.
The King mentioned in the court papers that Swaziland News has a huge following and pleaded with the court to grant the order saying together with his Government and the royal family, they might suffer irreparable harm over the ongoing publication of articles.
The editor is expected to file responding papers to the King’s application before the matter goes to an open court. King Mswati, Ministers, the Government of eSwatini and members of the royal family are represented by Brian Kahn Inc Attorneys.
King Mswati ruled eSwatini as an absolute Monarch with Executive, Judicial and Legislative powers, he cannot be taken to court in eSwatini as he manipulated the Constitution to place himself above the law.