MBABANE:Thulie Dladla,the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation says human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko was not assassinated by the State but was killed amid the infighting within the pro-democracy movement.
This is contained in a report dated 03 April 2023 that highlights the political situation in eSwatini,the report was directed to the United Nations(UN)and all Diplomats in the country.
In the report,the Foreign Affairs Minister told the Diplomats that the murder of the highly regarded human rights lawyer was a subject of an investigation.
But,the Minister announced the ‘outcomes’ of the investigation prematurely and or before its conclusion by claiming that Maseko was killed amid the infighting within the pro-democracy movement.
Lawyer Thulani Maseko,the Chairperson of the pro-democracy MultiStakeholder Forum(MSF)was killed a few hours after King Mswati threatened those calling for democracy that his mercenaries would deal with them.
Subsequently,the lawyer who was once ‘unlawfully’ convicted by the State for criticizing the judiciary, was assassinated within his home at Luyengo on the 21st January 2023.
“Government categorically denies any involvement in the murder of Mr. Thulani Maseko. Although this matter is still subject of investigation by the appropriate authorities,it is worth mentioning that Government had nothing to gain and much to lose from Mr. Maseko being killed.In actual fact, there are many others who would appear to have far greater motivation to do so.There are issues around factional struggles amongst the self-styled 'pro-democracy forces', popularity gain and financial motivation amongst others.Our investigative agencies are treating this case with the highest priority and are committed to apprehending the culprits,” said the Minister in the report.
The Foreign Affairs Minister further told the Diplomats that incarcerated pro-democracy Members of Parliament(MPs)Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube were arrested for allegedly inciting violence and or burning of properties during the June 2021 political unrest and subsequently,were denied bail on suspicion that they might escape and evade a trial.
“Although matters before courts cannot be discussed outside the court process because they are subjudice, the incarceration of the 2 Members of Parliament arose because they allegedly incited violence around June 2021 riots, along with one former Member of Parliament who is a fugitive from law.This is captured in the indictment used to secure their arrest.Bail has been denied because of reasons including failing to comply with an order of the Supreme Court to seek leave to make a(sic) for a fresh application and being an obvious flight risk given the actions of their co-accused,”said the Foreign Affairs Minister who failed to respond to our questionnaire when asked to clarify some of the issues in the report.
The report leaked to this Swaziland News by diplomatic sources,came amid pressure from the international community after systematical resistance by Mswati to hold a political dialogue while continuing with the killing of civilians and refusal to release the incarceration of pro-democracy MPs among others.
Foreign Affairs Thulie Dladla.