Thulani Maseko is a prominent human rights lawyer from Swaziland. He is senior member of Lawyers for Human Rights Swaziland and the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network.
Thulani Maseko was firstly arrested on 17 March 2014. One day later, journalist Bheki Makhubu was arrested. Both were charged with the same offence: contempt of court. The suspicion is related to a series of critical articles written by Thulani Maseka and Bheki Makhubu in February and March of 2014 about the arrest of government vehicle inspector Bhantshana Gwebu. Gwebu was arrested after he had stopped a high court judge for a traffic offence. Maseki and Makhubu questioned the integrity, independence and impartiality of the judicial system in Swaziland. Bhantshana Gwebu remained in pre-trial detention for nine day before he was released on bail.
By judgment of 6 April 2014, the court ruled that the arrest warrants, charges and pre-trial detention were unlawful. Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu were released, but the next day already another arrest warrant was issued against them after the authorities appealed the court decision. On 8 April, both were arrested again. The appeal filed by their lawyers did not succeed.
On 13 June 2014, L4L wrote letters to the Swaziland authorities calling on them to release lawyer Thulani Masekoimmediately.
On 17 July, Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu were convicted for ‘contempt of court’ by a the High Court of Swaziland. Shortly after, they were both sentenced to two years in prison. That sentence is much heavier than the 30-days sentence or 2,200 Euro fine that is common for the offence. The judge found, referring to the constitution, that the right of freedom of expression is not absolute but limited.
On 30 June, the Swaziland Supreme Court ordered the release of human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko and journalist Bhekithemba Makhubu. The State conceded that it had no case against them and they were set free.
Lawyers for Lawyers is concerned about the assassination attempt as well as the harassment and intimidation of Mr Maxwell Nkambule. Lawyers for Lawyers is furthermore concerned about the overall failures of the authorities in the Kingdom of Eswatini to ensureLees verder
Lawyers for Lawyers received the shocking news that, on 21 January 2023, Eswatini human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko was shot death in his home. This killing was condemned by the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers. ThulaniLees verder
In a joint letter Lawyers for Lawyers and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) express concern about proposed legislation to regulate the operations and functions of the legal profession in Eswatini that would severely undermine the right to an independentLees verder
On 22 September 2016, Lawyers for Lawyers, together with the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and Judges for Judges, delivered an oral statement during the 33th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. DuringLees verder