Swaziland – 31 July 2014

‘Black Friday for Journalism’ in Swaziland – ‘Explosive’ and ‘Hostile’ Judge Sends Swazi Editor and Lawyer to Jail for 2 Years, Reports Local Media
“An explosive and hostile Judge Mpendulo Simelane sentenced The Nation magazine editor Bheki Makhubu and columnist and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko to two years imprisonment without an option of a fine yesterday, sending shock waves to media practitioners locally and internationally,” reports today’s edition of weekly newspaper Observer on Saturday. allAfrica

COSATU Condemns the Iron Fist That Deepens the Crisis of Human Rights Violations in Swaziland
The Congress of South African Trade Unions is utterly appalled and condemns the guilty verdict and subsequent sentencing of 2 years imposed on human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko and the Nations Magazine Editor Bheki Makhubu, on 25 July 2014.
Their crime was criticising the judiciary system in articles carried by the Nations Magazine earlier. allAfrica

An exiled Swazi political activist is stuck in South Africa after his asylum was rejected. This comes just a week after the SA government rejected asylum for three other Swazi political activists. Pius Vilakati, former Univesity of Swaziland (UNISWA) SRC president, has come out to say his application for asylum was also denied in SA.
“Practically, I am on the Swaziland-South Africa border-line seeking to be allowed to enter South Africa. With this permit, I cannot exit South Africa since it does not entitle me to a passport. Generally, I am stuck here in South Africa, and so are the three CPS leaders,” lamented Vilakati.
CPS is the Communist Party of Swaziland.Vilakati’s plight was also confirmed by the party’s National Organising Secretary Njabulo Dlamini. As a result, Vilakati said he was now stuck in SA. allAfrica

Members of Parliament (MPs) yesterday demanded that the right to express themselves on state media be restored.
State mediums are the Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Services (SBIS) and Swazi TV.The politicians, during their sitting in the House of Assembly, were at pains that they cannot address their constituencies via the national airwaves ever since they were elected into office. This is because of the Public Service Announcement (PSA) guidelines that were implemented by Cabinet in the previous Parliament. The incumbent MPs, like their predecessors, felt that this policy, more than anything, was meant to muzzle them. Times of Swaziland