After spending three days in police cells, two High Court judges and the Registrar of the High Court were granted E50,000 (US$5,000) bail each on Thursday (23 April 2015), in the latest move in Swaziland’s ongoing judicial crisis.
The judges were Mpendulo Simelane and Jacobus Annandale. The Registrar was Fikile Nhlabatsi. Their bail applications were opposed by the Crown.
The just-dismissed Minister of Justice and Constituional Affairs, Sibusiso Shongwe was not granted bail and was remanded to Sidwashini correctional facility.
High Court Judge Qinisile Mabuza said he was a flight risk and he was likely to interfere with witnesses if he were released on bail.
All four face a series of charges relating to the administration of justice in the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. The judges and the minister were personally appointed by the King to their offices.
The Kingdom’s Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi, who was also appointed by King Mswati, has been resisting arrest at his home, after a warrant was issued against him on Friday (17 April 2015).
SWAZI JUDICIAL CRISIS: FULL CHARGES
SWAZI MINISTER OF JUSTICE ARRESTED
CJ HAS HISTORY OF ABUSE OF POWER
CJ BID TO CANCEL OWN ARREST WARRANT
ARREST WARRANT FOR CHIEF JUSTICE
CJ AND JAILED JOURNALISTS