Magistrate Sifiso Vilakati fairly presided over my court case last year, he later recused himself in all my matters after learning that the cases were politically motivated, however, he stated on record that he cannot preside over these matters because he was in the process of acquiring land in my home area at LaMgabhi Etiyeni hence he might interact with both the accused and the complainant.
Perhaps, before delving much in his latest decision to recuse himself in yet another politically motivated criminal case involving Hosea MP Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza, let me give a clear picture how the political syndicate in this country operates using the judiciary to settle political scores and tarnish reputations of high profile people.
Before the day of my arrest, Princess Sikhanyiso, the first born daughter of King Mswati sent me threatening messages around 1am, she said I will soon regret writing critical articles about her, indeed police officers who operate through royal orders and apply for warrant of arrests to legitimise these orders arrived at my home, took me to the police Station where I was tortured.
It should be noted that before the torture, the regime ordered the captured media (SBIS, Eswatini TV, Observer and the Times)that also operates through royal orders not to dare report that I was being persecuted for writing critical articles about the regime but a fabricated common assault case involving LaMgabhi ‘Indvuna’ was given huge mileage to mislead the international community that this journalist is not credible.
Well, these low minded captured journalists overlooked the fact that international journalists are not fools, they were able to read between the lines, it was enigmatic that a common assault case that might attract a fine of less than E1000.00 could be investigated by a Deputy National Commissioner, a battalion of Senior Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents and the entire highest Police Investigation Unit. It was indeed a strange common assault case such that even Mbuso Simelane from the Attorney General’s Office was sitting in the public gallery following the proceedings of the contempt of court case that was linked to the common assault criminal matter, some of my international colleges laughed at saying "we know how these regimes operate when persecuting journalists".
However, I wasn’t surprised by the reporting by these captured journalists because being captured means your mind was castrated and no longer functioning properly and or independently but you take orders without carefully considering loopholes that might expose you.
The police were hoping that Magistrate Sifiso Vilakati would sentence me without an option of a fine for contempt of court so that they could destroy the Swaziland News, the plan was that while in prison, a media syndicate led by suspended Observer editor, Mbongeni Mbingo who was very close to Princess Sikhanyiso through her mother Inkhosikati LaMbikiza would then publish a series of articles that sought to tarnish my reputation so that people could lose confidence in the online publication that was giving the regime a huge headache.
But then their plan was dismantled by Magistrate Sifiso Vilakati who innocently and fairly presided over the case allowing me to go home after the court was sastisfied with my defense and or justification in the contempt of court case.
Now, the police have used almost the same political tactic on MP Bacede, humiliating him and allowing journalists
to take pictures at his home while he was being harassed on fabricated criminal charges. The principle of presumption of innocence until proven guilty suggests that arresting officers should protect a suspect from such humiliation, however, the intention on Bacede’s case was not to enforce the law but to embarrass him using the captured media and the judiciary merely for being vocal in Parliament.
The police assaulted the MP just because they believe they have a right to assault and harass citizens of this country and then change the story that they were assaulted, the MP is now in and out of court for useless criminal case because the intention was to fabricate any case that might keep him behind bars for political reasons.
Let me state clearly that as the independent media, we are slowly opening the eyes of the public through information, the era where police manipulate the law to treat citizens like outcasts in their own country will soon be over.
The captured Magistrates who sign warrants of arrest for the police to torture and harass citizens and when the accused persons report to the court that they were tortured while in police custody, those Magistrates ignore the plight of the vulnerable and powerless.
I will make an example about Principal Magistrate Nhlabatsi, at personal level and while working at the Registrar of the High Court she used to invite me to her office. At some point, I went to her house in Manzini to discuss about a certain national issue that I cannot disclose for ethical reasons, but this Magistrate despite that she knew me personally, failed to recuse herself from my cases.She even went as far as signing a warrant of arrest, clearly her desperation to please the regime and remain employed after messing-up at the High Court now clouds her mind such that she can no longer uphold the code of conduct expected from judicial officers.
Police are not working alone when terrorizing the people, they work with captured Judges and Magistrates who assist them with legal documents to legitimise the injustice, before applying for these warrants they first confirm if the captured Judges and Magistrates will be on duty on that particular day.
It’s easy to identify those captured Magistrates and Judges, their signatures are always in the warrants of arrests used to raid, torture and subsequently kill innocent citizens in police custody, shame on them!.
Magistrate Sifiso Vilakati