Thursday, September 18, 2008


Swazi Observer

18 September 2008

Mtiti through to next stage

AN application against Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives Mtiti Fakudze, who won the primary elections at Mdumezulu chiefdom, was yesterday withdrawn at the High Court.

The application was withdrawn by Professor Msibi, representing aspiring MP Joel Dlamini, who also tendered costs.

Msibi could not reveal his client's decision for dropping the application.

Dlamini was seeking an order declaring the primary elections at Mdumezulu chiefdom invalid on the grounds that the minister unlawfully campaigned using government tractors. Maphalala, who is representing the minister and two others, told Judge Qinisile Mabuza that his instructions were to apply for the dismissal of the applicant with costs at a punitive scale. Maphalala said such was a clear case of forgery or fraud in that the second and fourth applicants denied having signed the confirmatory affidavits before court.

"It is against this background that my client is applying for the dismissal of the application with costs," he said.

"The Commissioner of Oaths also indicated that the confirmatory affidavits were never signed in his presence. This is a fatally defective application bordering on perjury, forgery and fraud. This is a very serious matter."

Justice Mabuza subsequently dismissed the application with costs at a punitive scale.

Dlamini, in his affidavit, had argued that the elections for the chiefdom were not free and fair since Fakudze who is still a cabinet minister used government tractors and other agricultural machinery as a form of campaign.

Dlamini said as a result there were a lot of tractors parked at strategic points at the constituency to convince voters that he was the obvious choice "who has the means of production."

He says the elections were also irregular in that on August 18, 2008 before the primary elections date, an illegal political meeting was held at Dvokodvweni Constituency.

Dlamini alleged that members of the community were invited for a presentation on opportunities to start development projects funded by some unspecified donors.

He said the donors were allegedly obtained through the efforts of the current government in which Fakudze was a cabinet minister.

The applicants Dlamini (Joel), Masiko Dlamini, Mathokoza Ntjalintjali and Mathukuthela Mkhabela were represented by Msibi. Maphalala is appearing for the minister, Sikhumbuzo Mkhabela and Gegela Ncaba Dlamini.


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