Roland Rudd, one of Swaziland’s best known political activists, has been released from jail after receiving a Royal Pardon.
Rudd was serving seven years for a number of offences, including attempted murder and possession of a firearm.
He was released on the orders of King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. In 2015, the King decreed that all prisoners jailed at His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) would have their sentences reduced.
Rudd was released on Saturday (9July 2016).
The Times of Swaziland, the only independent daily newspaper in the kingdom, reported that Rudd had been charged in 2012 with the attempted murder of soldiers and unlawful possession of a firearm.
The newspaper reported, ‘He shot at Thokozani Mkwanyana, Bhekinkhosi Sikhondze, Mlondi Xaba and Gugulethu Mngometulu during a road rage incident at KaDake area in the Hhohho region.’
In 2013, the Swazi High Court rejected Rudd’s application that he is right to personal freedom was being violated because he had been jailed but not been brought before a court.
He also said he was continually subjected to ‘cruel and inhuman treatment’.