Jailed Writer to Go to High Court

Swaziland human rights lawyer and journalist Thulani Maseko who was placed in solitary confinement in jail after a letter he had written circulated on the Internet has filed an application in the Swazi High Court to have the decision declared unconstitutional.

Maseko with Bheki Makhubu is serving two years in jail for contempt of court for writing and publishing articles in the Nation magazine in Swaziland critical of the kingdom’s judiciary.

In March 2015, on the first anniversary of his imprisonment a letter written in jail by Maseko was published on the Internet.

As a result he was placed in solitary confinement for 21 days.

In an affidavit, Maseko stated the decision condemning him to solitary confinement was unconstitutional because it was taken without giving him a fair trial and adequate opportunity to be heard.

The statement added, ‘No witnesses were led to show and prove the commission of the alleged offence. The letter which was alleged I wrote was never produced and tendered as evidence by the prosecutor before and to the inquiry tribunal.’

It added, ‘In finding me guilty and sentencing me to solitary confinement, the tribunal, therefore, solely relied on the verbal submissions of the prosecutor.’

No date has been announced for the High Court hearing.

Source : Swazi Media Commentary