Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Pro-democracy advocates in Swaziland have gone to the Swazi High Court to demand the right to visit a political leader who has been charged with a terrorist offence.

Political formations and trade unions yesterday (1 December 2008) brought an application at the High Court for an order allowing friends and others to visit the incarcerated People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) President Mario Masuku who is on remand at Matsapha Maximum Prison.

PUDEMO’s Secretary General Siphasha Dlamini, in her affidavit to the court, says since Masuku was arrested, visitation rights and access to him by friends, colleagues and associates had been extremely limited.

According to the Swazi Observer today (2 December 2008), Siphasha Dlamini says the British Deputy Commissioner Mark Norton was recently refused the right to see Masuku in Matsapha.

She also says the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions general secretary Jan Sithole and a delegation from the Council of Swaziland Churches were also denied access to Masuku.

She told the Observer, ‘We have a reason to believe that many other caring citizens and leaders of civil society and non-government organisations, whether local, regional or international will continue to be refused opportunity to see Mario Masuku.’

Justice Mbutfo Mamba postponed the matter to Monday (8 December 2008) for hearing of arguments. Government will file opposing papers tomorrow.

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