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OPINION:Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala’s arrogance on illegal Master of the High Court Commission of Enquiry amounts to judicial dictatorship,Law Society an important stakeholder.

Sunday, 4th February, 2024

Without the Law of Society Swaziland(LSS),the judiciary cannot properly perform its constitutional mandate with regards to the administration of justice,it is the fundamental duty of lawyers to address Judges and where necessary, advice on issues that might undermine the integrity of the justice system.

As officers of the courts,lawyers have a duty to uphold the rule of law and further protect the integrity of the judiciary and this, is not only just an ethical obligation but a legal duty as lawyers are an ‘arm’ of the judiciary.

I’ve been reading the letter from the Law Society of Swaziland(LSS) dated 22nd January 2024 where the organization for legal practitioners advised Chief Justice(CJ) Bheki Maphalala to disband the illegal Commission of Enquiry into allegations of corruption within Master of the High Court’s Office but unfortunately,the CJ is not prepared to listen.

In fact, the conduct of the Chief Justice,I would suggest, amounts to judicial dictatorship and a threat to the integrity of the justice system .

The letter from the Law Society was written in a very professional and respectful manner,the organization for lawyers was able to articulate why the Commission of Enquiry should be disbanded as its existence is in violation of the provisions of the Commission of Enquiry Act of 1963.

But despite being addressed in such a professional and respectful manner,the Chief Justice responded with arrogance, at least,some of us are fully aware that,his days in that position or as the Head of the judiciary, are numbered.

The CJ went on to show a middle finger to the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Prince Simelane who was also against the establishment of the Commission of Enquiry.

This means almost all of us including the media, Law Society and the Executive arm of Government are stupid in the eyes of the Chief Justice.

The only intelligent person with the capability to think for this country and decide what should happen to our Estates once we die is the corrupt Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala.

This Commission is not only about eStates for the dead but, we are interested in the investigation because we want to make sure our properties are safe and benefits our children once we die.

Even though we are fully aware that some lawyers are or were implicated in misappropriation of eStates, I was impressed with the manner in which the Law Society addressed the issue of the Commission with the Office of the Chief Justice.

The Law Society of Swaziland(LSS) is not against the Commission of Enquiry but, the organization for legal practitioners wants it to be established legally and/or in terms of the law with clear terms of reference.

Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala is playing with fire, the establishment of the Commission of Enquiry into allegations of corruption within the Master of High Court’s Office is not only about the dead but, we are interested because the truth is; one day we will die.

King Mswati must remove this ‘thing’ otherwise, we will conclude that, Maphalala is acting on his behalf and hiding corruption within the Master’s Office, we cannot keep on complaining about one(1) corrupt old man.

In conclusion, let me bring to the attention of the Chief Justice that, he cannot mess-up the judiciary and when called upon to account, claims the judiciary is independent, it is independent but, within the confines of the rule of law.

The term “rule of law” means it is the law that rules and the same law whose establishment, among others, was to regulate human conduct,is used to hold individuals and institutions of the State accountable.

The media, just like the judiciary,is independent but it must operate within the confines of the rule of law.

When dragged to court to account for an alleged defamatory article, a journalist or editor cannot use independence as a justification to violate people’s rights,the law must used to hold even the media accountable because despite the independence of the various institutions, it is the law that rules.

Therefore, the consistent justification by the Chief Justice who always hide behind  the “independence of the judiciary” when other institutions and stakeholders hold him accountable does not only amount to judicial dictatorship but, demonstrates the highest level of arrogance by the corrupt Chief Justice whose removal is long overdue.

OPINION:Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala’s arrogance on illegal Master of the High Court Commission of Enquiry amounts to judicial dictatorship,Law Society an important stakeholder.
Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala.