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Cape Bar Council, BLA slam murder of eSwatini human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko

Eswatini human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko.

Eswatini human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko.

Published Jan 27, 2023


The Cape Bar Council has called for justice for eSwatini human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko, who was murdered recently.

The Bar Council said those involved in his killing must be held accountable.

The Bar Council said on Friday that the murder of Maseko also posed a threat to lawyers in the southern Africa region who criticise their governments and then face murder.

The Black Lawyers Association (BLA) also slammed the killing of Maseko and said this was a similar tactic used by apartheid to assassinate lawyers in South Africa, including Griffiths Mxenge, Neil Aggett and many others.

The killing of Maseko has led to global condemnation, with calls for the perpetrators to be held accountable.

The Bar Council said action was needed in the matter.

It said Maseko would be counted among lawyers who fought for justice and equality.

“But we are not all as brave as Bram Fischer, Pius Langa and Thulani Maseko. When lawyers must risk their freedom and their lives to protect it, the rule of law deteriorates and dies because there will not be enough lawyers willing to defend it.

“It is vital that those responsible for Thulani’s assassination are brought to justice, especially if they are associated with the eSwatini government. Without accountability, there is impunity. And impunity only breeds more violence and less justice,” said the Cape Bar Council.

The BLA said those involved in the assassination of Maseko were against justice and democracy.

It said the apartheid regime had targeted human rights lawyers including Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge, Neil Aggett and others.

This must not be allowed to happen in eSwatini.

“We further call on the South African government to do all in its power to ensure that in the interest of the rule of law in eSwatini, civil society activists and lawyers are not eliminated for demanding a universal right to live in democracy, freedom and security.

“The South African government must do this by first condemning the government of eSwatini for the murder of Maseko and other activists that have fallen prey to this insidious tendency,” said the BLA.

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