A man in Swaziland has been held in jail for nearly ten years as he awaits trail.
Sikhumbuzo Mdluli, of Ngwazini in the Manzini region was arrested and charged with murder in March 2008 and is still in the Sidvwashini Correctional Facility awaiting trial.
He has asked the High Court of Swaziland to intervene, the Swazi Observer newspaper reported (18 January 2018).
Mdluli is arguing that Swaziland’s Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act says if a person does not appear in court after six months awaiting trial in jail they should be discharged.
The Observer said he was also arguing that ‘his continued deprivation of liberty’ was a violation of the Swaziland Constitution as he was not getting a speedy and fair trial before a competent court of law.
He is not the only person jailed for lengthy periods awaiting trial. In December 2017 Swaziland’s Human Rights Commission reported at least 133 people had been detained in Swaziland jails without trial for more than a year, Executive Secretary of the Human Rights Commission Linda Nxumalo told the Sunday Observer (31 December 2017), ‘One of the key cases that the Commission has worked on [in 2017] was one dealing with the issue of access to justice especially for 133 inmates that have been detained for longer than 12 months without trial or sentencing at our already overcrowded correctional facilities.’
133 JAILED WITHOUT TRIAL FOR A YEAR