30 September 2011
The Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) is not only astounded about developments in the country’s judiciary but now feels justified in calling for Judges of the Supreme Court of Swaziland to resign.
In particular we call upon respectable South African Judge, Ian Farlam, to resign from the Supreme Court bench of Swaziland because the last shred of dignity that the Swazi courts have were eroded yesterday with the firing of Judge Thomas Masuku.
Judge Masuku is currently in the Netherlands leading a high levelled lawyers’ delegation and only got to know of his sacking through the media, like the rest of us.
If the monarch felt that the Judge needed to be removed from office, for whatever reason, the most noble and courteous way of doing so would have been to at least inform Judge Masuku first, rather than publicly embarrass him the way they have done.
We in the SDC are shocked at this latest blatant disregard for the law, contempt of the courts and abuse of the revered institution of the judiciary by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the monarch.
This shows that the regime is prepared to pull all stops in maintaining the status quo.
We are however not sympathetic to the sacking of Reverend David Matse, the Justice Minister. All those who serve the system do not deserve our sympathy. They should have known that the despotic regime knows neither friend nor foe. Anyone who stands in their vicious way is dealt with as though he or she was the enemy.
Matse should have looked at Marwick Khumalo, Roy Founarokis, Sam Mkhombe, Mfomfo Nkhambule. The list is endless.
We now call upon South African Judge Farlam to do the most honourable thing and resign from the Swazi bench. If he does not do so, his reputation is bound to be stained by the continued malaise we see in Swaziland daily. We know that Judge Farlam is a man of integrity with a colourful judicial record and we therefore call upon him to refuse to be associated with the Swazi bench, in particular when he will be headed by the internationally condemned Judge Micheal Ramodibedi.
We call upon other Judges of the Supreme Court to also refuse to sit at Judges of the Supreme Court until confidence in the country’s courts have been restored and the Lesotho born Ramodibedi is fired.
The firing of Judge Masuku is to us the icing on top of the cake and an indictment to the South African government’s continued association with the King Mswati dictatorship. If ever South Africa needed any evidence why they should withdraw the so called bail out, the sacking of Masuku should be enough to make hairs stand on end.
A country with no legitimate judiciary, where lawyers are in their 7th week of a courts boycott, does not deserve to be trusted, particularly by a democratic country like South Africa.
AMNESTY: REINSTATE JUDGE MASUKU