More details are emerging about the reasons behind the suspension from office of High Court Judge Thomas Masuku.
The Times of Swaziland, the only independent daily newspaper in the kingdom, reported today (30 June 2011) Masuku had been accused of ‘12 counts of serious acts of misbehaviour—including insulting the King’.
The Times censored itself and told its readers it would not disclose what the ‘insult’ was.
The Swazi Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, was equally as vague as the Times about the insult. It reported, ‘Recently, Judge Masuku came under fire from the Supreme Court for words he used in the same breath as that of the King when passing judgment.
‘The highest court frowned at the wording and felt the judge should have avoided usage of such words.’
The Observer lists the following as some of the charges against Masuku.
Allegedly disrespecting the Chief Justice (CJ) Michael Ramodibedi
He is also accused of allegedly joining a toy-toy by CTA workers at the High Court
He allegedly deserted work sometime last year without permission
He allegedly threatened to resign sometime last year
He is also accused of being party to a clique hellbent on seeing regime change
He is also accused of total defiance and total disregard of orders from the CJ
He is also accused of scheming to topple the CJ from his position.
‘It was clear to us that the working relationship between the Masuku’s office and that of the CJ was not smooth,’ a High Court told the Observer.
JUDGE CHARGED FOR INSULTING KING