Monday, October 12, 2009


If you have any doubts that Swaziland’s King Mswati III doesn’t know the first thing about the rule of law read on.

The king, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, says he is unhappy at the high number of suspects who are being acquitted by the Swazi courts.

He seems to believe that anyone who goes before the courts is guilty.The king who consistently ignores the kingdom’s constitution in matters of human rights and civil liberties and who appointed Barnabas Dlamini prime minister and half the government in contravention of the constitution, says there are times when ‘acquitted persons showed no remorse for what they had allegedly done’.

That’s the point. They had allegedly done something but when the case came to court they were found to be utterly innocent.

The king was speaking during the Correctional Services pass out parade and Correctional Services Day held at Matsapha after Mario Masuku, president of the banned People’s United Democratic Party (PUDEMO) was acquitted of a terrorism charge, five hours into a High Court case that was expected to last several days.

The judge threw out the case saying there was no credible evidence offered by the prosecution. Judge Mbutfo Mamba called the prosecution’s case hopeless.King Mswati said it was clear that there were problems with the country’s justice system and called upon all judicial agencies to strengthen their operations to ensure that suspects were convicted.

The king said as this situation persists, it could be necessary that stiffer laws be put in place to guard against such occurrences.

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