‘T-Shirt Terrorists’ Free On Bail [opinion]

The seven ‘T-shirt terrorists’ in Swaziland were granted bail of E15,000 (US$1,500) when they appeared at the Swazi High Court on Monday (5 May 2014).

The seven men had been in jail on remand since 23 April 2014 charged with terrorism offences because they allegedly wore T-shirts with the name of the banned pro-democracy group PUDEMO on them and allegedly chanted slogans.

PUDEMO (the People’s United Democratic Movement) is the best known of several democracy groups banned as ‘terrorist organisations’ in Swaziland, where King Mswati III rules as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.

At an earlier hearing, High Court Judge Mumcy Dlamini had asked the prosecution to provide evidence of the chants the PUDEMO members allegedly made but, local media report, it failed to do so.

Each of the accused men is charged with four counts under the Suppression of Terrorism Act.

The seven men are PUDEMO Secretary General Mlungisi Makhanya Public Relations Officer Brian Clive Ntshangase Bongani Gama Bafana Mabandla Magongo Siza Jabulani Tsabedze Ntobeko Gideon Maseko and Mangaliso Simanga Khumalo.

Source : Swazi Media Commentary