Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mario’s son barred from consulting him

Mario’s son barred from consulting him
Swazi Times March 05,2009

MBABANE - The High Court will today hear an urgent application brought by Mario Masuku’s son, Mzwandile and his employer Thulani Maseko.

The two want to be allowed access to visit and consult with the PUDEMO President while in jail.

Maseko has filed papers where he wants the court to declare that Mzwandile be allowed access to consult with his father in his capacity as an articled clerk (practising but not yet admitted attorney).

Maseko want the Correctional Services officials to allow Mzwandile confidential access to his father while still in custody.

In his founding affidavit, Maseko states that on the morning of March 2, 2009 he proceeded with Mzwandile to the Matsapha Correctional Services in order to consult and take instructions from the PUDEMO President.

He states that in the past he, together with Mzwandile, had been allowed to see and consult with Masuku without any difficulty.

"Upon arriving and having gone through the first stage of the institution and having signed the requisite gate pass, the applicants were told that only the first respondent (Maseko) would be allowed to consult with the client, the second applicant was denied such access because he is the son of the client. I, the first respondent and the principal of the second applicant, wanted to know what law or regulation, if any, was being used to deprive me of the right to consult with my client in the presence of my articled clerk.

The officer who attended us simply responded by saying he has been given the message to pass to the effect that I would not be allowed to consult with my client in the presence of the articled clerk," reads Maseko’s papers.

He contends that he tried to talk to the superiors of the officer he was dealing with but was told that they were not in. He alleges that the officer then went to consult with a Deputy Officer in Charge and came back to inform them that if Mzwandile is allowed in then there will have to be a prison officer present.

However, Maseko refused the offer and told the officer that they have a court order to the effect that they could have private consultations with Masuku and that in any case Mzwandile was his article clerk.

"I explained to him that it would be improper for me to leave him outside when I have a legal obligation to train him in the practice of the law, especially in this case in which the said Mario Masuku is facing a charge of Terrorism alternatively Sedition. The officer could not accept any of my submissions, stating that there was no way he could compromise, without indicating to me what law or regulation was he relying on to prevent me from exercising my rights," continues Maseko in his submission.

He also argues that in the past he had sent Mzwandile to consult with Masuku without any problems but things have suddenly changed.

Maseko is represented by senior lawyer Paul Shilubane.

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