Mbabane: The bail application judgment for Hosea Member of Parliament Mduduzi ‘Bacede’ Mabuza and Ngwempisi Member of Parliament Mthandeni Dube has been reserved.
The two members of parliament were arrested on Sunday and charged with terrorism and violating the COVID-19 regulations amongst other charges.
On Tuesday, they appeared before Judge Mumcy Dlamini and were remanded back in Custody at the Sidvwashini correctional facility where they are being kept.
On Thursday Judge Mumcy Dlamini who heard their bail application reserved her judgment indefinitely. It was after hearing arguments of both parties that Judge Dlamini informed lawyers for both parties that they will be informed by the Registrar of the High Court when the judgment would be delivered.
During the argument of the bail application, Advocate Mduduzi Mabila who is representing the applicants argued that the Crown failed to substantiate how the applicants were a flights risk, how they would interfere with the Crown’s witnesses, and that they had the propensity to commit similar offenses when admitted to bail.
He submitted that the refusal to grant bail and detention of an accused should be in the interest of justice where one or more of the following were established; where there is a likelihood that the accused is released on bail may endanger the safety of the public or any particular person, where there is a likelihood that the accused is released on bail may attempt to evade trial, where there is a likelihood that if the accused is released on bail he will interfere with Crown’s witnesses and where there is a likelihood that there accused will influence witnesses.
Advocate Mabila further submitted that the common cause facts were that the applicants were Members of Parliament, they operated businesses in the Kingdom and had families and as such, they were firmly rooted in the Kingdom of Eswatini. He argued that whenever a person was firmly rooted in a particular kingdom he was of right, unless shown otherwise, admitted to bail.
Meanwhile, the Crown which was represented by Principal Crown Counsel Macebo Nxumalo and Thabo Dlamini insisted that the duo was a flight risk and that they might evade the court’s jurisdiction if admitted to bail.
He further submitted that even though Eswatini has an extradition agreement with the Republic of South Africa, ‘experience has taught them that it was very difficult to extradite fugitives from the Republic of South Africa.
Nxumalo claimed that the success rate of extradition applications sent to the Republic of South Africa had been minimal.
According to the principal Crown counsel, there were other countries with which Eswatini did not have extradition treaties or agreements with, which the applicants could flee to.