Thursday, July 7, 2011


Lawyers and civic organisations in Swaziland want the Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi suspended over his treatment of High Court Judge Thomas Masuku.

And lawyers are considering boycotting courts tomorrow (8 July 2011).

About 100 lawyers met yesterday (6 July 2011) at a private meeting called by the Law Society of Swaziland.

Later, Titus Mlangeni, president of the society, said lawyers ‘call upon the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to without further delay suspend the Chief Justice, pending determination of complaints to be lodged against him’.

The Law Society has set up a committee to address a number of issues about Chief Justice Ramodibedi.

Mlangeni said Mlangeni the Law Society noted that there has been a continuous breakdown of the administration of Justice in the kingdom.

Thomas Masuku has been suspended following 12 charges made against him by the chief justice, including that Masuku insulted King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.

In a separate development, civic organisations in Swaziland have also called for the sacking of Ramodibedi. The Centre for Human Rights, which works with nine civic organisations, called for his removal because he is undermining the rule of law in the kingdom.

In a statement it accused him of interfering in the management of the Industrial Court, particularly in frustrating the nomination and appointment process of the court’s members.

The Centre for Human Rights also called for the reversal of the appointment of Judge Bheki Maphalala as a Justice of the Supreme Court. It says Maphalala is too inexperienced for the post and is subject of an inquiry from his work as a member of the Citizen Board instituted by the Minister for Home Affairs, Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze. The inquiry has not yet exonerated the board from any misconduct.

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