The Swaziland Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi who is evading arrest by police has two firearms and is holding his family hostage at his home, the kingdom’s police chief said Friday (24 April 2015).
National Police Commissioner, Isaac Magagula, told a media conference in Mbabane, ‘The members of his family are innocent and they just happen to be victims of circumstances. We also wish to take this opportunity to once more say that his continued refusal to hand himself over is not in the best interest of justice, the international community nor the welfare of his family that he is keeping hostage.’
The Mail and Guardian newspaper from South Africa reported Ramodibedi had locked himself in with his wife, and two children between the ages of 18 and 20.
Ramodibedi faces a number of charges relating to his work, including abuse of power. A warrant for his arrest was issued last Friday (17 April 2015) and he has been locked in is mansion ever since.
Meanwhile, two High Court judges, Mpendulo Simelane and Jacobus Annandale, and the High Court Registrar Fikile Nhlabatsi, spent three days in police cells before being bailed by the Mbabane Magistrate in the biggest judicial crisis in Swaziland’s history. They face a number of charges relating to their conduct as officers of the law. The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Sibusiso Shongwe has also appeared in court and he was remanded to Sidwashini correctional facility.
The Mail and Guardian reported that Magagula called on the chief justice to surrender himself to the police to allow the law to take its course, instead of using his family as human shields.
The police chief described Ramodibedi as a former soldier and confirmed he was in possession of two firearms.
JUDGES, REGISTRAR BAILED; MINISTER NOT
ARREST WARRANT FOR CHIEF JUSTICE
CJ BID TO CANCEL OWN ARREST WARRANT
CJ HAS HISTORY OF ABUSE OF POWER