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Monday, 24 August 2015

EX-JUSTICE MINISTER ARRESTED AGAIN

Swaziland’s former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Sibusiso Shongwe has been arrested on charges of corruption and extortion.

Shongwe who was sacked from his job in April 2015after being arrested on corruption charges is alleged to have committed the offences while still a Cabinet minister.

He was charged with Sandlane Zwane, a businessman. Shongwe is charged on six counts including extortion, corruption and obstruction of justice.

The two appeared before Mbabane Principal Magistrate Nondumiso Simelane on 19 August 2015. Later, they were allowed bail at E50,000 (US$5,000) each.

Shongwe is currently also on bail on separate charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act, including defeating or obstructing the course of justice, fraud and theft. 

According to a report in the Swazi Observer newspaper the charges are as follows

Count 1(Accused 1 and 2)

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

In that upon or during the period between the months of October 2014 to March 2015 and at near Mbabane in the Hhohho Region, the said accused acting individually and/or jointly and in furtherance of a common purpose did unlawfully demand and/or accept money amounting to E62 000 (US$6,200) from Jose Emidio Rodrigues for their benefit and through their illegal and dishonest manner 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 of the said Rodrigues to give them the said amount of money and thus did thereby contravene the provisions of the said Act.

Count 2(Accused 1 and 2)   

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

In that upon or during the period between the months of October 2014 to March 2015 and at near Mbabane in the Hhohho Region, the said accused acting individually and/or jointly and in furtherance of a common purpose did unlawfully demand and/or accept money amounting to E600 000 from Jose Emidio Rodrigues for their benefit and through their illegal and dishonest manner 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 of the said Rodrigues to give them the said amount of money and thus did thereby contravene the provisions of the said Act.

Count 3 (Accused 1 Only: Shongwe)

The accused are guilty of contravening Section 30 (1) (a) and (b) read with subsections (c) (i), (d)(i) and (iii), (e) and (f) as read together with Section 35 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act No. 3 of 2006.

In that upon or during the period between the months of October 2014 to March 2015 and at near Mbabane in the Hhohho Region, the said accused being a politician did unlawfully demand and/or accept or agree and/or offer to accept money amounting to E60 000 from Jose Emidio Rodrigues for his benefit in order to assist the said Emidio Rodrigues with his criminal case and through his illegal and dishonest manner amounting to the abuse of his position of authority and violation of legal duties or set of rules in a design to achieve an unjustified result and amounting to an improper inducement of the said Rodrigues to give him the said amount of money and thus did thereby contravene the provisions of the said Act.

Count 4 (Accused 1 Only: Shongwe)

The accused are guilty of contravening Section 30 (1) (a) and (b) read with subsections (c) (i), (d)(i) and (iii), (e) and (f) as read together with Section 35 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act No. 3 of 2006.

In that upon or during the period between the months of October 2014 to March 2015 and at near Mbabane in the Hhohho Region, the said accused being a politician did unlawfully demand and/or accept or agree and/or offer to accept money amounting to E60 000 from Jose Emidio Rodrigues for his benefit in order to assist the said Emidio Rodrigues with his criminal case and through his illegal and dishonest manner amounting to the abuse of his position of authority and violation of legal duties or set of rules in a design to achieve an unjustified result and amounting to an improper inducement of the said Rodrigues to give him the said amount of money and thus did thereby contravene the provisions of the said Act.

Count 5 (Accused 1 and 2)

The accused are guilty of crime of Extortion. 

In that upon or during the period between the months of October 2014 to March 2015 and at or near Mbabane in the Hhohho region, the said Accused 1, who was at all material times the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs for the Kingdom of Swaziland acting individually and/or jointly and in furtherance of a common purpose with Accused 2 did unlawfully and intentionally inspire fear in the mind of Jose Emidio Rodrigues who was and still is an accused person in a pending criminal trial by threatening and informing him that a judgment to find him guilty and a custodial sentence was already in place, unless the said Jose Emidio Rodrigues paid the said accused Money amounting to E600 000 thereby unlawfully and intentionally extorted E62 000 and obtained from the said Jose Rodrigues.

Count 6 (Accused 1only: Shongwe)

The accused is guilty of crime of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of Justice.

In that whereas one Jose Emidio Rodrigues is an accused and Fraud in High Court Case No.242/2013 which is pending and to the knowledge of the accused, the said Jose Emidio Rodrigues was so charged, the said accused did on or around the months of November 2014-January 2015 and at Mbabane, Unlawfully and with the intent to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, request the Director of Public Prosecutions to drop the charges against the said Jose Emidio Rodrigues and turn him into a state witness and whereas when the said accused made the said request, he purportedly made it on behalf of Rodrigues, when in fact he had not been so instructed as aforesaid but was on his own unlawful mission. In the premises the said accused did commit the crime of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.

See also

‘SWAZI EX-JUSTICE MINISTER TOOK BRIBE’

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