The inquiry into alleged abuse of power by Swaziland’s Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi due to start on Wednesday (3 June 2015) has been postponed again.
This time Ramodibedi has moved an urgent application with the Swazi High Court to have the hearing to be conducted by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) declared unconstitutional.
On 25 May 2015 Ramodibedi successfully had the inquiry postponed because he said he did not have enough time to prepare a defence.
Ramodibedi was first issued with a warrant for his arrest on 17 April 2015. He faced 23 charges but would not surrender to police, instead preferring self-imposed house arrest for more than five weeks. These charges were later reduced to eight. Now, the JSC reported that the charges have been reviewed once again and now number three.
1. Abuse of office – In the allocation of the Swaziland Revenue Authority matter.
2. Abuse of office – In the hearing of the Impunzi Wholesalers (PTY) Ltd v The Swaziland Revenue Authority.
3. Abuse of office in order to achieve an ulterior motive – In the hearing of the Estate Policy matter.
The High Court is expected to hear Ramodibedi’s application on Thursday (4 June 2015). Ramodibedi has been suspended from office pending the outcome of the inquiry.
A media release from the JSC stated Ramodibedi was, ‘seeking among other relief, the recusal of all the members of the Judicial Service Commission, a declaration that the ad hoc committee was improperly constituted and further that the hearing of the inquiry was unconstitutional.’
‘ABUSE OF POWER’ INQUIRY POSTPONED
JURISTS: DEEP FLAWS IN JUSTICE SYSTEM