28 May 2013
A defamation case against Swaziland’s only privately owned newspaper was delayed yesterday, Monday 27 May, after it was revealed recording equipment at the High Court wasn’t working, according to local media reports.
Gelane Simelane, who is Senate President as well as acting chief of the KoNtshingila area, is suing the Times of Swaziland for E200,000 (US$20,500).
“The newspaper is alleged to have defamed Simelane… by claiming that her real birth surname was Mahlangu and not Simelane.
“Simelane said the article perceived that she did not qualify to be the leader of KoNtshingila area,” reported the rival daily Swazi Observer.
Both daily newspapers – the state-owned Swazi Observer as well as the newspaper embroiled in the case, the Times of Swaziland – reported the story on Tuesday 27 May, 2013, highlighting the faulty recording equipment in the High Court as the reason for the postponement.
“According to an impeccable source”, reported Times journalist Mbongiseni Ndzimandze, “the private technicians had not been paid for services rendered for the past three months.”
The Times report says that the technicians were nowhere to be found when court officials realised the recording equipment wasn’t working.
It is unclear from the media reports when the recording system will be fixed, however the Swazi Observer says the case would resume today.
For comments or queries, please contact:
MISA-Swaziland National Director