Looking back at the mayhem in our justice system in Swaziland in the past few years, has come to show that the government's commitment to freedom of speech was just a myth. The prime minister has been lying to the nation over and over again. He even went on to bring the worst Chief Justice (CJ) the country has ever seen, a criminal from Lesotho. He was not even vetted as per the regulations. The CJ has been protecting the government and even went on to protect himself and other rotten potatoes within the justice system .
The Nation magazine editor Bheki Makhubu and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko, have been languishing in prison, denied them bail because the CJ - Ramodibedi - saw it fit to do so. Now, the same CJ is hiding from facing the justice system for his own crimes.
Now, looking back at the history of the justice department, tells the whole story. Edgar Hillary, the current minister for justice has got a long history for protecting the king, it comes to show that the justice ministry is protecting the government and the king. Hillary has a history of arresting journalists when he was the police commissioner.
Silencing journalists through contempt of court charges is inconsistent with international obligations to which Swaziland has voluntarily agreed, and protecting the reputation of the judiciary is not a justification for stifling free speech. If murderous and rapists are given bail, journalists and human rights activists are not given bail, it comes to show that the government is after protecting its image. It seems as if the government does not understand why investors are running away; the Swaziland government seems to think the media and human rights activists are to blame for that .
US secretary of state John Kerry said, in his address at the Journalism Security Conference early this year, that journalists wont give up and have great confidence in the future of press freedom and the commitment of journalists of every description to go out there and find the truth and report on it, no matter where they are and what the resistance and no matter how stark the danger, no matter how many efforts are made against them .
We Swazi people (eMaSwati) will fight to see the day of freedom of the press eSwatini (Swaziland) and we will shout on roof tops and in the wilderness.
Viva Swazi Vigil Viva...!
By: Theophilus Ceko
. M.C. Zulu, Mail & Guardian, Swazi King Sacks Justice Minister, 22 April 2015; http://mg.co.za/article/2015-04-22-swaziland-king-sacks-justice-minister, Date Accessed: 20 May 2015.
. Swazi Observer, Free Defenders of a Free Press, 3rd May 2015, http://www.observer.org.sz/news/72464-free-defenders-of-a-free-press.html, Date Accessed: 20 May 2015.
. U.S. Department of State, Diplomacy in Action, Remarks at the Journalist Security Conference, 20 January 2015, http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/01/236125.htm, Date Accessed: 20 May 2015.