Editor lodges appeal against conviction

MISA-Swaziland Alert-update
23 April 2013 

Bheki Makhubu, editor of The Nation magazine, has lodged an appeal against his conviction and sentence. The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) understands the appeal went through late Monday (22 April) and was in time to beat today’s deadline of paying a US$21,500 fine or face two years in prison.

The Nation, one of Swaziland’s very few independent sources of news is published by Swaziland Independent Publishers. The magazine was found guilty of “contempt by scandalizing the court” following its publication of two articles in 2009 and 2010 that criticised Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi.

Today’s edition of the Times of Swaziland reports that “this [the appeal] means the magazine and its editor Bheki Makhubu will no longer have to meet today’s deadline” of paying the $US21,500 fine as ordered by high court judge, Bheki Maphalala, last week. He is also not going to prison as things currently stand.

The editor now awaits a determination on his appeal by the Supreme Court. MISA understands that the court’s decision may only come in November this year as the court only sits in May and November to deliberate on appeals. It is unlikely that Makhubu’s appeal will make it into the May sitting.

MISA has expressed serious concern about the editor’s conviction and sentence. The organisation’s Programme Specialist for Media Freedom Monitoring and Research, Levi Kabwato, described the development as “a major setback for media freedom and freedom of expression in Swaziland”. He also called on journalists, media practitioners and free expression activists around the world to support the call for media freedom in Swaziland.

“With elections due in the country later this year, the media’s role will become ever so critical. but if that media is under the threat of legal sanction, or indeed other threats as we have recorded previously, then this is only the beginning of what is likely to be a very problematic period for Swazi media,” Kabwato said.

For comments or queries, please contact:
Vuyisile Hlatshwayo, MISA-Swaziland National Director




2 thoughts on “Editor lodges appeal against conviction

  1. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers|

  2. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that
    I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for
    me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try
    to get the hang of it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: