Sunday, August 30, 2009

6 to testify against Mario

6 to testify against PUDEMO’S Mario

SIBUSISO NGUBANE on August 30,2009

Sunday Times

MBABANE—The Director of Public Prosecutions has lined up six witnesses to testify against incarcerated People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) President Mario Masuku when his trial kicks off next month.

The list of the six witnesses is contained in the summary of evidence which the DPP will present to court when Masuku’s trial resumes next month. However, the summary of evidence doesn’t say what the witnesses will tell the court as it happens in some matters. “Please take notice further that the crown will add more witnesses to the ones mentioned above,” reads part of the summary of evidence form.

Masuku is accused for contravening section 11 (1) (b) of the Suppression of Terrorism Act number 3 of 2008 or alternatively contravening section 5 (1) of the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act of Terrorism Act of 1938 as amended.

The PUDEMO president is alleged to have unlawfully and knowingly given support to the commission of terrorist acts by uttering the words to the effect that “they will continue with the bombing of vital installations and structures of the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland” and did thereby contravene the said acts.

He is said to have uttered words to the effect that Musa ‘MJ’ Dlamini and Jack Governder, who died in a bomb blast at Lozitha overhead bridge, were heroes and they died while PUDEMO needed them the most. He is accused of making these utterances on September 27, 2008 at KaLanga in the Lubombo region at the funeral of Dlamini.

About two weeks ago, Masuku appeared at the High Court of Swaziland before registrar Lorraine Hlophe for a pre-trial conference, where it was announced that his trial was expected to take off on September 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. Masuku has been behind bars for over 280 days now since he was arrested in November last year.

Masuku is represented by lawyer Thulani Maseko of T. R Maseko Attorneys, who is also facing terrorism charges in his own capacity.

The first names of the witnesses are not indicated in the summary of evidence but only their abbreviations appear with the surnames.

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