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Independent minded Judges, Magistrates will never be attacked by underground forces.

Friday, 25th November, 2022

In the midst of my persecution,Magistrate Sifiso Vilakati released me on alleged contempt of court charges, thereafter, the State went back to the drawing board to cook other criminal charges. 

When I appeared before Magistrate Vilakati at the Mbabane Magistrate Court, I was escorted by senior police officers, Deputy Attorney General(AG)Mbuso Simelane was also present monitoring the proceedings.

After realizing that the charges I was facing were politically motivated, Magistrate Vilakati recused himself,saying he was in the process of securing a piece of land at Lamgabhi Etiyeni Chiefdom hence he could be my neighbour.

The truth is; Magistrate Sifiso Vilakati was not willing to be used to persecute a journalist but, he was smart enough to find a way out of the case.

I didn’t know Magistrate Vilakati personally but after the case, I did some research and the findings suggested that he was an impartial judicial officer.

Magistrate Vilakati recused himself again without any resistance, in a criminal case involving Hosea Member of Parliament(MP)Bacede Mabuza after an application by the Crown.

Another Magistrate who recused himself in my case is Magistrate Simo Simelane who was my lawyer at SP Mamba Attorneys, he refused to preside over my cases on the basis that he knew me personally as my legal representative.

It is important to share such experiences with judicial officers so that the Nation could know that we do have some Judges and Magistrates who, under such an oppressive environment, strive to uphold the law and adhere to the judicial code of ethics.

Qinisile Mabuza and Mbutfo Mamba are some of the highly regarded known Judges who were overlooked for promotions because they are independent minded.

Judge Mamba acquitted Obama Matsentjwa who was framed with murder charges by Isaac Magagula, the then National Commissioner of Police, Matsentjwa was a key witness in the finger-prints scandals involving senior police officers including Senator Magagula.

The Honorable Judge also recused himself in the Victor Gamedze murder case on the basis that he was very close to Mbabane Swallows administrators, Gamedze was the Director the football club.

Even though some of us are aware that Judge Mbutfo Mamba dropped the case after realizing that there was political influence in the matter,he was able to find a way-out.

At Simunye Magistrate Court, we are told that suspects were always ‘praying’ to appear before Acting Magistrate Zakhele Dlamini knowing that they will receive justice.

As the political temperatures continue to rise in this country, it’s true that some Judges are legitimate targets, in fact the Commander of the Solidarity Forces told me that some Judges and Magistrates would be killed for persecuting political activists.

But there are Judges and Magistrates who can sleep without any fear because they never persecuted anyone.

With the growing threats against judicial officers who are an arm of the oppressor, if Judge Thomas Masuku was in eSwatini, he would be walking tall, knowing that he stood for justice and equality before the law.

As the situation stands, citizens have nowhere to report the killings by security officers because the State including the Judiciary has promoted a culture of impunity against civilians.

When facing persecution, people are now crying to the Commander of the Solidarity Forces for justice, and whenever they receive news suggesting that a high profile person liked to Mswati has been killed or his/her property burnt, they celebrate.

It is very unfortunate that Mswati and his loyalists pushed Swazis into this corner, people now feel the death of those who are persecuting them is the solution.

Independent minded Judges, Magistrates will never be attacked by underground forces.
Magistrate Sifiso Vilakati.