By Sifiso Nhlabatsi | 2019-08-13
The Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala has made a shocking statement that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is under siege from a very powerful and dangerous political elite.
The Chief Justice who is also Chairman of the JSC revealed this yesterday at the High Court during the swearing in of new members of the JSC.
When addressing the new members of the Commission who include Prince Mgebiseni, Chakazile Dlamini, Bongani Sydney Dlamini and Sibongile Zondi, the Chief Justice said he would be failing in his duties if he did not mention that that there is a political elite which is undermining and interfering with the Constitutional mandate of the Judicial Service Commi-ssion. He said that this should come to an end.
The CJ pointed out that the conduct of this political elite is treasonable.
“The Judicial Service Commission is under siege from a strong powerful and dangerous political elite which is currently occupying our political space,” the Chief Justice said.
He added that so powerful is the political elite that it has arrogated to themselves the constitutional powers of key institutions of State and exercising State power. Chief Justice Maphalala explained that the Constitution clearly defines the powers and duties of every State institution and further guarantees their independence to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.
Maphalala said the existence of the political elite constitutes a serious threat to the political and economic stability of this country together with its international relations and peaceful coexistence.
“The Constitution is the supreme law of this land and the Nation has the right and duty to uphold and defend this Constitution,” the Chief Justice said.
He warned that any person who suspends, overthrows, abrogates or attempts to do so is guilty of the offence of treason.
The Chief Justice explained that the Constitution of Eswatini is the product of the wishes and aspirations of the nation and the decision to adopt the current Constitution was adopted by Sibaya at Ludzidzini.
He said Sibaya is the Swazi National Council, and it is chaired by Ingwe-nyama. The chairman indicated that the nation gathered at Sibaya constitute the highest policy and advisory council of the nation.
He added that accordingly, nobody should undermine the will of the people of the country.
The Chief Justice pointed out that political and economic stability as well as foreign direct investment in any constitutional democracy depends exclusively upon the respect and loyalty of the nation to the Constitution.
Addressing the newly-appointed JSC members, the Chief Justice extended his gratitude to His Majesty King Mswati III for the appointment of the new members.
He said the appointment of the members of the Commission signifies the trust and confidence which His Majesty has upon each and every member of the Commission.
Maphalala reminded the JSC members that their responsibility is to serve the King and the nation with honesty, dignity and integrity. He said the JSC is appointed by His Majesty in terms of Section 159 of the Constitution, he added that the Commission is independent and reports directly to the King.
The Chief Justice went on to explain the core function of the Judicial Service Commission saying it is to advise His Majesty on the appointment of members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), the Commi-ssion on Human Rights and Public Administration, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Director and Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, the appointment of the Attorney General and his Deputy as well as the appointment of the judges.
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