n Journal for Juridical Science - Administration of criminal justice in Swaziland : crises and confusion in the 1990s




The Kingdom of Swaziland is one of the few countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Africa and the world where traditional institutions play a very important part in the overall governance of the country. The Kingdom, which in 1998 celebrated thirty years of political independence, has what has been described as a "modified traditional monarch". The significance of traditional institutions in general and the monarch in particular, manifests itself not only in the general administration of the country but in the administration of criminal justice as well. This contribution describes the crises and confusion that arose in the administration of criminal justice in Swaziland in the 1990s in general and, in particular, the part played by the Director of Public prosecutions - DPP, who was assumed to have been connected to, and in league with, traditional bodies and officials. An analysis is made of how adherence to traditional norms and the influence of traditional institutions contributed to and became part of the crises. A conclusion is drawn that the DPP, who is an officer of the court, is in law expected to exercise his professional powers independently. When that ceases to be the case, this office can become a cause of injustice not only to individuals but to society as a whole.

<b>Strafregspleging in Swaziland : krisisse en verwarring gedurende die negentigerjare</b> <br>Die koninkryk van Swaziland is een van die min lande in die Suider-Afrikaanse Ontwikkelingsgemeenskap (SAOG), Afrika, trouens in die wêreld, waar tradisionele instellings 'n baie belangrike rol in die algehele regering van die land speel. Die koninkryk, wat in 1998 dertig jaar van politieke onafhanklikheid herdenk het, het wat bestempel word as 'n "gewysigde tradisionele monargie". Die belangrikheid van tradisionele instellings oor die algemeen en die monarg in die besonder, blyk nie net uit die algemene administrasie van die land nie, maar ook uit die strafregspleging. Hierdie artikel beskryf die krisisse en verwarring wat oor die algemeen in die strafregspleging in Swaziland gedurende die negentigerjare ontstaan het en in besonder, die rol wat die Direkteur van Openbare Vervolging gespeel het - dit word aanvaar dat hy nou betrokke en kop in een mus was met tradisionele liggame en beamptes. 'n Ontleding word gedoen van hoe die behoud van tradisionele waardes en die invloed van tradisionele instellings bygedra het en deel geword het van die krisis. Daar word tot die slotsom gekom dat daar van die Direkteur van Openbare Vervolging, wat 'n amptenaar van die hof is, regtens verwag word om sy professionele bevoegdhede op 'n onafhanklike wyse uit te voer. Wanneer dit nie meer die geval is nie, kan hierdie amp 'n oorsaak van ongeregtigheid word, nie net wat die individu betref nie, maar ook vir die gemeenskap as 'n geheel.


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