Community police will murder terror suspect Musa Ngubeni is he is allowed out on bail, a Swaziland magistrate court was told.
According to a report in the Swazi News, Kwaluseni community leader Indvuna Musa Dlamini said ‘the Kwaluseni community was not pleased with the serious offence he committed’. The paper quoted Indvuna Dlamini saying, ‘People are talking and if he would set foot in the community, the community police would kill him together with the people who are angry.’
Indvuna Dlamini was in court to speak about Ngubeni’s character and to oppose his bail. But, in an astonishing turn of events, he told the court that he didn’t actually know Ngubeni, but he did know his father well.
Despite Indvuna Dlamini’s ignorance, the court decided to side with him and denied bail.
If the Swazi News report is anything to go by, no one questioned why the court chose to rely on Indvuna Dlamini’s testimony even though he openly admitted he didn’t know Ngubeni.
Ngubeni, an activist with the banned Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) was in court along with Maxwell Dlamini, president of the Swaziland National Union of Students.
They are charged under the Explosives Act 1961 with possessing explosives.
There were about 50 supporters at the court hearing on Thursday (21 April 2011). They reacted noisily when they heard that the police would murder Ngubeni. Senior Magistrate Msibi threatened to put them in jail if they didn’t shut up.
If the Swazi News account of the case is to be trusted, she made no comment about the murder threat.
The bail hearing was adjourned until Tuesday.
Although the pair have yet to stand trial, the Swazi News has already decided that they are guilty. Twice in its report it said the two men ‘committed’ the offence. The Times of Swaziland newspaper group should issue a correction and apology in the next available issue. It should, but I’m not holding my breath.