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Thursday, 23 April 2015

SWAZI JUDICIAL CRISIS: FULL CHARGES

The judicial crisis in Swaziland continued on Wednesday (22 April 2015) as formal charges against the Chief Justice, two High Court Judges, the High Court Registrar and the just-sacked Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs were revealed.

The accused are: Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi, Judge Mpendulo Simelane, Judge Jacobus Annandale, Fikile Nhlabatsi (High Court Registrar) and Sibusiso Shongwe (Justice Minister).

The full list of charges was published in the Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, who is sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, on Wednesday (23 April 2015).

1. Michael Mathealira Ramodibedi (Chief Justice)
2. Mpendulo Simeon Simelane (High Court judge)
3. Jacobus P. Annandale (High Court judge)
4. Fikile Nhlabatsi (High Court Registrar)

COUNT 1 (Accused 1, 2, 3 and 4)

The accused are guilty of contravening Section 33 (1) (b) read with subsections (2) (a) (i), (b) (i), (c) and (d) together with Section 35 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act No. 3 of 2006.

In that upon or about April 18, 2015 and at or near Mbabane in the Hhohho region, the said accused acting individually and/or jointly and in furtherance of a common purpose and being judicial officers did unlawfully demand and/or accept and/or agree and/or offer to accept an advantage from one another for the benefit of either one or more of them; and through their illegal, dishonest, and biased manner to induce one another in the exercise, carrying out or performance of their respective positions of authority and violation of their legal duties or set of rules in a design to achieve an unjustified result and amounting to an improper inducement to one another to give an order in favour of one or more of them and thus did thereby contravene provisions of the said Act.

Alternatively

The accused are guilty of contravening Section 42 (1) (b) as read with subsections (2) (a) (i), (b) (i) and (ii), (c) and (d) together with Section 35 (1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act No.3 of 2006.

In that upon or about April 18, 2005 and at or near Mbabane in the Hhohho region, the said accused acting individually and/or jointly and in furtherance of a common purpose the said accused did unlawfully demand and/or accept and/or agree and/or offer to accept an advantage from one another for the benefit of either one or more of them; through their illegal, dishonest, and biased manner to induce one another in the exercise, carrying out or performance of their respective positions of authority and violation of their legal duties or set of rules in a design to achieve an unjustified result and amounting to an improper inducement to one another to given an order in favour of one or more of them and thus did thereby contravene the provisions of the said Act.

COUNT 2 (Accused 1 and 2)

DEFEATING OR OBSTRUCTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE

In that whereas Accused No.1 and 2 were the suspects in an investigation CR 4/2015, where Justice SB Maphalala (PJ) had issued an order for the arrest of them. The accused had full knowledge of the existence of the said order. The said accused acting individually and/or jointly and in furtherance of a common purpose did on or about April 18, 2015, in the Hhohho region, unlawfully and with the intent to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, the accused acting individually and/or jointly conspired in the furtherance of a common purpose, purported that Accused No.1 in consultation with Accused No.4, allocated the matter to Accused No.3, for the rescission of the order issued by Justice SB Maphalala (PJ) with all the accused’s full knowledge of their respective positions, in particular that Accused No.3 had no power to overrule an order of this nature that had been issued by a principal judge in the same jurisdiction and that Accused No.s 1 and 2 were suspects in the matter. The said rescission of the order purportedly issued by Accused No.3, in the residence of Accused No.1, would result in a favourable outcome to Accused No.s 1 and 2 and in the premises the said accused did commit the crime of defeating and obstructing the course of justice.

1 Michael Mathealira Ramodibedi
2 Mpendulo Simeon Simelane
3 Fikile Nhlabatsi

COUNT 1

The accused are guilty of contravening Section 33 (1) (b) read with subsections (2) (a) (i), (b) (i), (c) and (d) together with Section 35 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act No. 3 of 2006.

In that upon or during the period between April 2013 and February 2015 and at or near Mbabane in the Hhohho region, the said accused acting individually and/or jointly and in furtherance of a common purpose and in being judicial officers did unlawfully demand and/or accept and/or agree and/or offer to accept an advantage from one another for the benefit of either one or more of them; and through their illegal, dishonest, and biased manner to induce one another in the exercise, carrying out or performance of their respective judicial functions amounting to the abuse of their respective positions of authority and violation of their legal duties or set of rules in a design to achieve an unjustified result and amounting to an improper inducement to one another resulting in a judgment in favour of one or more of them and thus did thereby contravene the provisions of the said Act.

Alternatively

The accused are guilty of contravening Section 42 (1) (b) as read with subsections (2) (a) (i), (b) (i) and (ii), (c) and (d) together with Section 35 (1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act No.3 of 2006.

In that upon or about the April 2013 and February 2015 and at or near Mbabane in the Hhohho region, the said accused acting individually and/or jointly and in furtherance of a common purpose the said accused did unlawfully demand and/or accept and/or agree and/or offer to accept an advantage from one another for the benefit of either one or more of them; and through their illegal, dishonest, and biased manner to induce one another in the exercise, carrying out or performance of their respective judicial functions amounting to the abuse of their respective positions of authority and violation of their legal duties or set of rules in a design to achieve an unjustified result and amounting to an improper inducement to one another to give a judgment in favour of one or more of them and thus did thereby contravene the said Act.

COUNT 2 (Accused 1 and 2)

DEFEATING OR OBSTRUCTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE

In that whereas Accused No.1 and 2 was a party to a matter filed in the High Court between himself and SRA (Civil Case No. 785/2015), and whereas both Accused 1 and 2 knew of the earlier involvement and position of Acccused 2 in the said matter. The said accused acting individually and/or jointly and in furtherance of a common purpose did on or about February 2015, unlawfully and with the intent to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, allocate and/or preside over the matter with both accused’s knowledge of their similar position and view that Accused No.2 was entitled to a favourable outcome in the matter which was yet to be tried in court as aforesaid and whereas when the matter was finalized, Accused No.2 inevitably delivered a judgment in favour of Accused No.1 and in the premises the said accused did commit the crime of defeating and obstructing the course of justice.

1 Michael Mathealira Ramodibedi
2 Fikile Nhlabatsi
3 Sibusiso Shongwe

COUNT 1 

DEFEATING OR OBSTRUCTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE

In that whereas Accused No.1 and 2 were the suspects in an investigation CR 4/2015, and High Court Case No.173/2015. Accused No.1 had presided over that matter. Accused No.2 had provided administrative support in those proceedings. Now, therefore, the Accused No.s 1 and 2 acting individually and/or jointly and in furtherance of a common purpose did on or about April 17, 2015, in the Hhohho region, unlawfully and with the intent to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, steal the said warrant of arrest application proceedings High Court file and handed it over to Accused No.3 and in so doing the said accused did commit the crime of defeating and obstructing the course of justice.

COUNT 2: THEFT

Whereas upon or about April 17, 2015 and at or near Mbabane in the Hhohho region, the accused, each or all of them acting individually and/or jointly and in furtherance of a common purpose did unlawfully and intentionally steal the warrant of arrest application proceedings file that was in custody of Accused No.s 1 and 2, under High Court Case No. 173/2015 whereas Accused No.3 was a suspect.

And whereas the accused had the intention of permanently depriving the High Court of Swaziland and/or the Swaziland Government of the ownership of the above mentioned copy of the record; and thus the accused persons are guilty of the crime of theft.

See also

SWAZI MINISTER OF JUSTICE ARRESTED
CJ HAS HISTORY OF ABUSE OF POWER
CJ BID TO CANCEL OWN ARREST WARRANT
ARREST WARRANT FOR CHIEF JUSTICE
CJ AND JAILED JOURNALISTS
http://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2015/04/cj-warrant-what-jailed-journalists-wrote.html

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