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Corruption within the judiciary escalating at a very alarming rate, Judges taking bribes.

Saturday, 12th August, 2023

The Law Society of Swaziland(LSS) must consider establishing a Commission to investigate allegations of corruption involving some Judges.

This week I was chatting to a very senior court official and by co-incidence, he/she(to protect identity) spoke about a Judge who received four hundred thousand Rands(R400,000.00) as a bribe, the intention was to influence a judgement.

The court official said she/he won’t give me the name for now but confirmed that some Judges are taking bribes these days due to financial challenges.

But with this information, I will conduct my own investigations and will definitely uncover the identity of the alleged corrupt Judge.

It is becoming extremely difficult to access justice in eSwatini, the corruption starts from the office of the Attorney General(AG) Sifiso Khumalo and networked to the Judges.

I asked the court official what happened if the aggrieved party in the matter appeals to the Supreme Court against the bias judgement and the court official said;

“The person who bribed the Judge of the High Court will also bribe the Supreme Court Judges to confirm the judgement otherwise, the judgement will be overturned. Some cases involve millions so it’s not difficult for those who want judgements to be delivered in their favour to bribe Judges”.

Worth-noting, lawyers spend time researching and preparing for cases only for justice to be sold.

The late lawyer Mandla Mkhwanazi who assisted me to win an unfair dismissal case at the Industrial Court, once highlighted that justice was for sale within the judiciary, Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala challenged him to provide evidence.

Well, as the head of judiciary, the Chief Justice was supposed to establish a Commission to investigate the allegations, these allegations came from Mkhwanazi, the then Secretary General(SG) from the Law Society of Swaziland(LSS) and therefore, it was a concern from the organization and/or the entire legal fraternity.

One of the reasons why the Chief Justice demonstrated reluctance to investigate the allegations was the fact that, he is corrupt to the core.

The concerns with regards to the ongoing corruption within the judiciary must addressed as a matter of urgency and the removal of the Chief Justice should be taken into consideration.

Even the calls for democracy are meaningless if we disregard what is happening within the courts, the judiciary is the cornerstone of democracy, it administers the rule of law.

Indeed, in a democratic dispensation, the law rules and this means, we have an obligation to work collectively to restore the rule of law and/or mitigate corruption within the justice system.

It should be noted that if we continue to disregard, ignore and/or allow such critical arm of the State to be paralyzed by corruption, disorder will erupt and subsequently manifest into anarchy.

The judiciary is a very important and critical arm of the State, any breakdown in the administration of justice does not only undermine public order but, threatens social and economic development including investor confidence.

Even the highly anticipated political dialogue must be conducted within the confines of the law and in this regard, the independence of the judiciary is of paramount importance.

Corruption within the judiciary escalating at a very alarming rate, Judges taking bribes.
Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala.