Judge orders freed Swazi editor’s arrest

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IOL jan 21  newspapers

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

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Mbabane - A Swaziland editor facing charges of contempt appeared in court on Wednesday after a judge appealed an earlier ruling to set him free.

Thulani Maseko, the editor of The Nation and a columnist at the magazine, Bheki Makhubu, were released from custody on Sunday after a High Court judge overturned their arrest.

Judge Mumcy Dlamini ruled that a warrant for their arrest on March 18 was not in line with the law, setting them free.

However, Judge Mpendulo Simelane ordered that “a warrant of arrest be issued” adding that he will not “dwell on the merits of the case”.

The two men made a brief court appearance in the capital Mbabane but no date was set for their next hearing.

The two were arrested after the independent magazine published a report questioning the detention of a government vehicle inspector who was detained for a week without being charged.

The magazine criticised the arrest as an abuse of authority.

Authorities claimed the articles interfered with the court proceedings, and charged them with contempt of court.

Media in Swaziland operates under strict regulations, where criticism of King Mswati III and his government is not tolerated.

Sapa-AFP


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