Two prodemocracy Swaziland (eSwatini) members of parliament charged under the Suppression of Terrorism Act had their second application for bail refused on a legal technicality.
The High Court ruled on Tuesday (14 September 2021) that it did not have the standing to hear the case involving Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube because it had previously made a ruling. The bail application would have to be heard by the kingdom’s Supreme Court. The trial itself is expected to start on 11 October. The pair have been in jail on remand since July.
Swaziland is not a democracy and over the past months protests for reform have been repressed with excessive might from police and security forces.
Political parties are barred from taking part in elections and groups advocating for reform are banned under the Suppression of Terrorism Act. No members of the kingdom’s Senate chamber are elected by the people and the King appoints the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and top judges among others.
Mabuza and Dube were arrested while on their way to present a resolution to parliament, on behalf of the people, to amend the constitution to allow the people to have a say in the election of their prime minister.
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