MPUMALANGA: The political unrest report by the Human Rights Commission has been attached to other court documents to justify why it was in the public interest to expose Defense Principal Secretary Prince Sicalo who allegedly crossed the border to smuggle guns that were to be used in the ongoing shooting and killing of civilians.
The preliminary report that is now before the Mpumalanga High Court was attached by Swaziland News editor Zweli Martin Dlamini who is opposing an urgent application by Prince Sicalo Nkopolo Dlamini where he is seeking to interdict this publication from publishing what he described as private information about him.
Senior Advocate Myron Dewyance, Advocate Karusha Pillay and lawyer Bukhosi Sibanda are defending the editor and this publication in the matter.
The report by the Human Rights Commission suggests that forty-six (46) people were killed during the June 2021 political unrest after the government deployed the army and the police, over two hundred(200) were injured.
In his affidavit, the editor said the article references the political unrest in Eswatini where citizens are demanding democratic reforms, facts which have been widely circulated in the international news media.
“Upon a careful reading of the article, it is evident that it strongly references the political unrest in Eswatini, where citizens are demanding democratic reforms, facts of which have been widely circulated in the international news media. The article is also based on reports by the Human Rights Commission and the United Nations. It is in this context that the reasonableness of the publication must be assessed”, reads an affidavit by the editor.
The editor further told the court through his affidavit that the article where Prince Sicalo was alleged to have crossed the border to smuggle guns constituted breaking news and obviously threatened the security of the people of Eswatini.
“it was necessary that I publish the article urgently. The opportunity provided to the applicant to comment was reasonable in the circumstances. Considering the serious nature of the allegations, it was incumbent upon the applicant to contact me prior to the publication, to dispute the accuracy of the information”, read the affidavit in part.
Prince Sicalo wants the court to interdict the editor and this publication from publishing what he described as private information about him including his passport numbers saying that undermines his security and that of his royal family.
Members of the Swaziland Massacre Victims and Survivors Association.