MBABANE: Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala allegedly delayed to enroll an appeal for the incarcerated pro-democracy MPs Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube after some Supreme Court Judges who are against the injustice threatened to release them.
A Judge who spoke to this Swaziland News alleged that Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala decided to literally break the law and frustrate the appeal because he was not sure whether the Supreme Court Judges would dismiss it or not.
A highly confidential information in our possession suggest that while discussing among themselves, some of the Judges even threatened to release the MPs and get fired thereafter.
“It is for these reasons there was reluctance to enroll the matter with the Supreme Court because the CJ doesn’t have absolute control there, there are few Judges who vowed to release the MPs. One of the Judges who was very angry with what is happening even said if the matter could come before him, he wouldn’t even waste his time browsing through the court papers but would just release the MPs. Now, the problem is, the CJ doesn't know who is on his side and willing to be manipulated and dismiss the appeal so that the CJ could remain in good books with the King for taking orders”, said the Judge of the High Court who cannot be named for ethical reasons.
It has been disclosed that one of the Supreme Court Judges when speaking to other Judges said he was ready to get fired and would definitely release the MPs if the matter could come before him.
Sicelo Mngomezulu, the South African Correspondent Attorney representing the pro-democracy MPs told protestors who had gathered outside the High Court that the appeal would now be held on the 25th March 2022.
“I would like to update you that the bail appeal date is now the 25th March not April”, said the lawyer.
Questions were sent to Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
Court documents reveal that the Chief Justice first tried to delay the appeal by manipulating the Registrar of the Supreme Court who refused to enroll it with the Supreme Court until the MPs filed an application before court demanding their right to appeal.
In an earlier interview with this Swaziland News, Sibusiso Nhlabatsi, a human rights lawyer said a bail was a human right and described the persecution of the MPs as an act of injustice.
Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala.