Alert / Media Alert

Bhantshana case postponed till Wednesday 29 January

MISA-Swaziland | Alert
January 27 2014

The court hearing has been postponed in the case involving chief government vehicle inspector Bhantshana Gwebu.

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Swaziland’s chief government vehicle inspector has been charged with contempt of court after he arrested the driver of a High Court judge. The driver was allegedly misusing the car. Pic: Times of Swaziland

Proceedings were meant to begin in Swaziland’s High Court this morning, however a court official said the case has been postponed and will now begin on Wednesday 29 January.

The High Court official said the court does not officially open until February 3, but would be hearing “urgent” cases before this date. Presumably, therefore, the Gwebu case is seen as urgent.

Gwebu was arrested and detained last week after he, himself, had arrested and charged the driver of High Court Judge Esther Ota.

Gwebu arrested the driver, Vusi Tsela, for allegedly abusing a government vehicle. Tsela was apparently not following the authorised route and, instead, had driven the passenger, Judge Ota, to Sifundzani High School where it’s been reported Ota was buying uniforms for her children.

According to the Times of Swaziland the judge’s driver was “slapped with two charges which are; using a government vehicle for any purpose other than that authorised without a written authority and that of allegedly using a government vehicle on a weekend (Saturday)”.

The newspaper also reports that Gwebu has been charged with contempt of court and was remanded into custody last week.

Several unions in Swaziland are supporting Bhantshana, however union leaders were blocked from visiting him in custody last week.

Related stories:

Times of Swaziland apologises to Chief Justice, retracts comments

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