12 June 2011
AMOS MBEDZI TO FACE TRIAL
Three years after being arrested for the attempted bombing of a bridge at Lozitha, Amos Mbedzi’s application that he be acquitted on all charges and released from jail has been rejected by the Swazi courts.
In a 112 page document, the presiding judge, Justice Bheki Maphalala, has ruled that Mbedzi was there at the scene of the crime and has to face trial on five counts, which are:
1. Contravening Section 5(1) read with Section 5(2)(a)(ii) of the Sedition Act and Subversive Activities Act No. 46 of 1938 as amended in that on 20 September 2008 at Lozitha he unlawfully and with subversive intention attempted to damage Lozitha bridge by placing and assembling explosive devices.
2. Contravening section 14 of the Immigration Act in that on the same date not being a Swazi citizen, he unlawfully entered and remained in Swaziland without a valid passport.
3. The murder of both Musa ‘MJ’ Dlamini.
4. The murder of Jack Govender.
5. Contravening Section 9 as read with Section 8 of the Explosive Act in that on the said date, he unlawfully possessed explosives without a licence or permit.
Mbedzi has pleaded not guilty of all charges except the second.
According to the judge, Mbedzi’s letter of apology to the king, Prime Minister and royal family is the main reason why Mbedzi lost his pre-trial case.
Further evidence linking him to the crime, according to the judge includes:
1. The fact that he was identified by one of the employees of Kai Kai hotel as one of the four people who had been booked there. The employee further identified the car that had been damaged by the bomb explosion as the same that had been used by the four men.
2. Evidence from experts working for Vodacom and The South African Police service indicate that he had been in constant contact with the deceased while travelling to Gauteng and Swaziland.
Unfortunately, the evidence provided does not prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was more than just a bystander. Moreover, the murder charge lacks credibility as it lack a clear intention.
Maphalala’s statement that, "Even though the accused did not mean to kill the deceased; however, he intended their death because he foresaw it as a possible result of setting up the bomb," is self contradictory and implies that the court has already proven that Mbedzi set up the bomb. This is despite the fact that the judgement document states that he was ten meters away when it exploded.
The Swaziland Solidarity Network therefore finds this judgement completely unfair and should the trial proceed, Maphalala must recuse himself as he has proven to be acting outside the parameters of the law in his judgement of the case. We continue to support Mbedzi and know that it will be proven that his trial is nothing but a result of Mswati’s vindictiveness.
Issued By The Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN]