Eswatini

Eswatini supreme court calls delayed trial ‘a form of torture’

Eswatini’s highest court has strongly criticised that country’s prosecution service for how long it took to bring a murder case to trial. Writing a review judgment in that case, the court called the 13 years it took to begin the trial ‘a form of torture’ for the accused in the matter, adding that the delays were unconstitutional.

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The supreme court in Eswatini has made stinging criticism of the country’s prosecution services because of how slow it was in bringing a murder suspect to trial. The court called these delays ‘not only a form of torture’ but also unconstitutional because it contravened ‘the speedy trial’ requirements of the country’s supreme law.

Another ‘No’ for Eswatini’s LGBTI community

A new judgment from Eswatini’s high court effectively supports a decision by the registrar of companies who refused to register an association called Eswatini Sexual and Gender Minorities. Two judges of the three-court bench held that the registrar’s decision had been properly made. In a dissenting decision, the third judge approached the question very differently.

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This case concerns Eswatini’s LGBTI community. Eagerly anticipated by both sides of the argument, it must have been something of a disappointment to all involved that judgment was delayed for so long.

Right at the start of the decision, however, there’s an apology seeking to explain why the matter, heard 18 months ago, was not handed down earlier.

African Commission finds judicial dismissal by Eswatini violated African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights

Since 2011, Thomas Masuku has been in a kind of judicial limbo following a decision by the authorities in Eswatini to remove him from office as a judge. He was, however, welcomed with open arms in Namibia, where he serves on the high court bench. Now, in an extraordinary development, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has found that his removal from office by Eswatini violated key articles of the African Charter.

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Any reader of the decision by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the complaint by jurist Thomas Masuku is taken back in time to the era when controversial, disgraced judge, Michael Ramodibedi, was Chief Justice in Eswatini.

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