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Eswatini’s Supreme Court judgement threatens the rule of law

Umamah Bakharia | ub@radioislam.co.za

5min read
27 September 2022 | 10:00 am CAT

The Supreme Court of Eswatini has issued a judgment to which legal experts are saying constitutes a threat to the rule of law and the protection of human rights in Eswatini.

In its decision, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal to proceed in the matter of The Prime Minister of Eswatini & Others v Maseko and Others.

This comes after changes were made to the Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008 which was found unconstitutional as it did not align with the provisions of freedom of speech.

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), which supported three respondents in this matter, argued that the ruling was against constitutional rights.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, Civic rights cluster programme manager at the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC), Melusi Simelane says this ruling has weakened eSwatini’s legal system.

“We are saying you cannot allow the attorney general to break the rules of court – the procedures of court and get away with it but the Supreme Court has indeed that this matter must go ahead to the Supreme Court and be heard fair and square,” says Simelane.

Meanwhile, the state has indicated that they would like to argue more on the Suppression of Terrorism Act that were put out by the High Court.

 

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