Times of Swaziland
23 July 2008
Commotion as activists take on policeman
MBABANE – There was commotion in the High Court as a police officer tried to calm down a highly charged crowd that was chanting political slogans on Monday.
This was before the resumption of a court case where 11 groups have instituted legal proceedings against government.
The relief sought by the groups is to declare the Elections and Boundaries Commission null and void and further allow them to contest political power.
The officer was stunned when he confronted the crowd, asking them to stop their singing inside court.
"Stop irritating us, we are not intimidated by you. If you continue to bother us we will give you a serious hiding," shouted political activist Mphandlana Shongwe, throwing the fully packed court into laughter.
The man of the law was told to go and seek reinforcement from his colleagues if he wanted to deal with the crowd.
One of the activists told the officer in the face that they had shifted away from their previous situation where they would allow officers to ride roughshod over their shoulders.
"Asisanesabi nine, nisidzelele kakhulu," bellowed a member of the crowd.
The officer was further ridiculed by the crowd which told him to back off and that he was only a junior officer who was not in a position to deal with them.
The officer was left with no other alternative other than to leave the crowd.
His other colleagues who were present in court could not do anything besides watching helplessly from a distance.
The situation was later calmed by the arrival of the court presiding officers as they then respected that the court would soon be in session.