MBABANE: “It is a Constitutional right for every citizen to be granted bail unless the State proves before the court that releasing that person might defeat the ends of justice”.
These were the sentiments of human rights lawyer Sibusiso Nhlabatsi who was asked by this Swaziland News to clarify the legal process of applying for bail and expectations from the courts.
“It is a human right for every person who stands accused of committing a crime to be granted bail. When you read Section 21 of the Constitution, it states clearly that every person is innocent until found guilty by the court of law. This means a suspect must be granted bail and this is supported by Section 16 of the Constitution that stipulates that a person has a right to personal liberty. Actually, it shouldn’t be difficult to be granted bail, this country has a history of arresting people under the Non-bailable Offences Order. So with the existence of the Constitution, a person must just prove before the court that he or she is not a flight risk and if the State opposes that, then the burden of proof shifts to the Crown to prove that the person is a flight risk”, said the human rights lawyer.
Two pro-democracy Members of Parliament(MPs) Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube were denied bail by Judge Mumcy Dlamini who was allegedly acting on a royal order from King Mswati.
This is contained in an electronic evidence released by this Swaziland News where resigned Army Commander Jeffery Shabalala confirmed that the King ordered the arrest of the pro-democracy MPs.
Human Rights Lawyer Sibusiso Nhlabatsi