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Monday, 2 May 2011

STILL NO BAIL FOR FREEDOM ACTIVISTS

Weekend Observer


30 April 2011


SOURCE


Tight security at explosives suspects hearing


There is no evidence linking the bomb explosives suspects to their charges except the charge sheet, which states that they were found with explosives. There was tight security in court where over 60 supporters showed up.


There is no evidence that the duo had intentions of bombing any structure with the explosives, but rather the police have incarcerated them to then launch intense investigations.


This was said by renowned lawyer Mandla Mkhwanazi during the bail application by the explosives suspects when making submissions at the Manzini Magistrate’s Court on Friday (29 April 2011) which lasted for about three hours.


The matter, which appeared before Magistrate Florence Msibi, was postponed to next Friday where the court is expected to state whether bail will be granted to the accused.


The bail application of Swaziland National Union of Students President Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Ngubane had been attended by over 60 people who included university students and some members of the proscribed entities.


The duo were charged for contravening the Arms and Ammunition Act for being found in possession of explosives days after the foiled protest march on April 12.


“The police have arrested the suspects first and are doing the investigations later whereas a person has to be arrested to be brought before the court which will prove him guilty or not,” said Mkhwanazi.


The court gallery was sent to stitches when the lawyer made this submission.


Mkhwanazi further said his submission was attested to by the fact that the police officer who had testified in the case had made it clear that they were still looking for consignment which would also be aligned with the case.


The prosecutor said the submissions made by Mkhwanazi were not valid because the accused had been found with explosives which would be later brought to court as evidence. Therefore, disputing the submission suggesting there was no evidence to the effect that the suspects were innocent.


The Crown last week submitted four reasons why the accused should not be granted bail, which included fear in the different communities where the suspects reside.


Meanwhile the court also heard nine reasons why the suspects should be granted bail.


Chanting of political songs after hearing


There was chanting of political slogans and songs after the case of the explosives suspects.
The songs suggested that the government did not want the suspects to be granted bail, because they had been charged on baseless counts.


However, the tight security of over 10 police officers, which also concluded the Manzini Station Commander, chucked the progressives out of the Manzini Magistrate’s Court.
Some members of the banned entities included the SWAYOCO President Wandile Dludlu.
Meanwhile, two supporters who had attended the case were slapped with contempt of court.


The two suspects who names could not be ascertained were charged for ringing cellphones inside court.

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