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Judicial dictatorship now the only hindrance to a democratic society

Friday, 22nd May, 2020

The captured judiciary under the leadership of Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala is now the only arm of government vigorously used by the oppressive regime to legitimize injustice thus undermining the advocacy for a free and democratic society.


It should be noted that Acting Government Spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini and the police normally mislead the international media, saying people who felt persecuted by the law enforcement agency have a right to approach the court, knowing very well that some of the Magistrates and Judges, including CJ Maphalala were appointed to strengthen the political dictatorship. Indeed, independent journalists and political activists wouldn’t be running to hide in other countries if the justice system was functional in this country, instead everyone would be seeking refugee in the courts for justice.

 Now, the tendency by the government to deceive the international community about those persecuted being free to engage the court as if we have justice in this country, suggests that we need to start focusing on exposing the ills of the judiciary to convince the world that the system will never be credible under the leadership of Maphalala. 

The justice system is now used to frustrate and destroy political activists and independent journalists and as such, it’s lack of independence should be investigated and exposed so that the international community can understand that we don’t have a judiciary in this country. It’s a pity because those trustworthy Judges and Magistrates who are determined to upload the values and principles of justice are frustrated by the leadership of Maphalala and they must be liberated from this judicial dictatorship.

Personally, it was a privilege to have been to the courts where one was able to understand better how the wheel of injustice connects from the police, Magistrate, prosecution, the Attorney General up to the Judges. Perhaps, I must say that I always use every opportunity, good or bad to gather information that might be useful in the future, precisely, every situation is part of the learning process for me. 

When Judge Nkosinathi Maseko made an interim ruling in favour of leaders of the Political Parties Assembly (PPA) in the search warrants application, they celebrated not knowing that it was a strategy to blind them so they can feel that justice is working when in fact the dictatorship machinery of the regime will subsequently hit them. 

 Judge Maseko is and will never be credible on the grounds that his appointment came as a reward for persecuting individuals who are critical of the regime, of which, lawyer Thulani Maseko is one of the victims. In this country, there are selected Judges who were strategically appointed to deal with such cases and protect the regime, that’s why Government Spokesperson and the police are always confident to tell anyone who has been tortured to approach the ‘kangaroo courts’. Another strategy that is now being used is the appointment of acting Judges who will then preside over cases against the government, of course, they will rule in favor of the State so they can be confirmed and get permanent jobs.

Therefore, Acting Government Spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini should not conclude that we are fools, that he can mislead the world, saying we must approach the courts to challenge the injustice backed by royalty, we know how the machinery works in this country and it’s just a matter of time before we start exposing it.

International organizations that support media freedom have been asking some of us if they can assist with hiring lawyers on our behalf, and we said no, we better stay in the bushes than to fight with crocodiles in the same river. The situation in this country has reached a point whereby even if you can engage highly regarded advocates, you are likely to waste money and subsequently be denied justice. 

When attacked by crocodiles, you must fight to come out of the river because it’s never easy to win while within, that’s the sad reality of our judiciary system. Police easily get search warrants by the ‘back-door’ that they then use to grab citizens from their homes for torturing and the courts have done nothing to protect the people from this injustice except to issue more warrants. Our justice system has become a huge joke such that even the police always encourage those who tortured and relatives of those who died of suffocation to register complains with the same law enforcement agency. This means, the superiors who ordered the juniors to torture the citizens will then decide on matters to which they were directly involved, they call this justice.

It is for these reasons that we have lost confidence in the courts because they continue to be part of the injustice. We need a credible justice system that we can run to and this can only be established in a free and democratic society.

Sometimes, we approach the courts as a way of documenting the cases so we can take on those responsible once the country attain democracy, we don’t expect much from the captured Magistrates and Judges who long sold their integrity to the regime. As the situation stands, no justice will ever prevail under the leadership of Bheki Maphalala. 

Judicial dictatorship now the only hindrance to a democratic society
Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala