Swaziland’s Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi has banned suspended high court judge Thomas Masuku from talking to the media.
The instruction is contained in a letter sent by Ramodibedi to Masuku confirming that he is suspended from the bench with immediate effect.
In the letter Ramodibedi also shows that he is angry that a female judge who he accused of having affair with Masuku has threatened him with a libel suit.
‘I am shocked that on June 29, 2011, and a few minutes after you were served with a letter informing you of the investigation/enquiry, I received a phone call from the judge threatening me with defamation following what you told her,’ he wrote in his letter to Masuku.
He then directed the judge not to discuss the suspension matter in the media until a disciplinary hearing set for 11 August, 2011 is completed.
There is some confusion over the legality of the suspension as the letter sent to Masuku is signed by Chief Justice Ramodibedi, yet the Swaziland Constitution states that only the monarch can suspend a judge (on the recommendation of the chief justice).
JUDGE TO SUE CHIEF JUSTICE FOR LIBEL