No legal representation for Swazi student leaders in court case

“Once again the student activists, Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Ngubeni appeared before Magistrate Gumedze without any legal representation,” Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice (FSEJ) wrote in a press statement on Friday.

Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Ngubeni were both abducted and tortured by Swazi security forces during the so-called April 12 Uprising in April 2011, and were later charged with possession of explosives. They were released on bail in February, amongst other things as a result of the international Free Maxwell Dlamini campaign calling for his release.

“Without granting them a postponement to allow them time get legal representation, Magistrate Gumedze opted to continue with the case by calling the state witness to give evidence,” the FSEJ press statement continued.

“He [Magistrate Gumedze] instructed the two to take notes on behalf of their lawyer so they share them with him after the session. He also mentioned that should their lawyer fail to appear on the 16th of November 2012, the two must be prepared to cross examine the state witness themselves.”

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