FORMER MP CHARLES MYEZA OUT
...Lawyer Leo Dlamini obtains order from Judge Mumcy Dlamini for his client to be released on royal pardon under theprerogative of mercy. The former legislator is released from Bhalekane Correctional facility
The steel gates at the Bhalekane Correctional Services facility were for a moment unlocked and they ejected former Kubuta Member of Parliament (MP) Charles Myeza to the outside world after serving his jail time.
Myeza was released through His Majesty’s Prerogative of Mercy after his Lawyer Leo Dlamini successfully obtained an order from Judge Mumcy Dlamini for him to be released at the High Court yesterday. This was after Myeza had filed an urgent application at the High Court where he sought an order compelling His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) to properly calculate his sentence, including the prerogative of mercy.
Myeza, who was serving a five-year sentence wanted to be released from prison since he felt he had about 13 months left in his sentence, which are part of the prerogative of mercy conditions. Having already served the four years, he submitted in his affidavit that he should have already been released under the prerogative of mercy.
Represented by Mafutseni based lawyer Leo Dlamini, the former MP, in his affidavit, stated that the royal pardon was given to prisoners who at the time of making of the notice had a remaining sentence of 13 months or more and such sentence to be reduced by six months, respectively. He also received the royal pardon this year as pronounced by His Majesty during his 49th birthday celebrations held at Siteki.
According to Dlamini in his submissions, it is common knowledge that on August 7, 2015; April 19, 2016 and April 24, 2017 His Majesty announced the prerogative of mercy and this was applicable to the applicant (Myeza) and that meant he was entitled to two consecutive amenities which is 2015/16.
Dlamini wanted it to be noted that the applicant was a convict when the amenities were pronounced and as such his client was entitled to benefit from these amenities. However, it was clear from the continued incarceration that the applicant in this regard did not get any computation on the basis of the amenities.
In his affidavit, Myeza further stated that this was a constitutional right in terms of the prerogative of mercy of the King and failure and refusal by the first res pond ent(Mzu thin iN ts hang a se) cited as the Commissioner General and the Lubombo regional commissioner to take into account this constitutional right violation of the Constitution of Swaziland.
On May 29 this year Myeza realised that the period of imprisonment was not being attended by the commissioner general and the regional commissioner, hence he wrote a letter of complaint to the commissioner general.
The commissioner general, in response, informed Myeza that he was not entitled to the amenities for the period he was out on bail pending appeal at the Supreme Court. “It is common knowledge that the applicant was never granted bail as intimated, when the applicant was released on November 2014 and there was no court order to the effect that his sentence calculation was suspended but logic and common sense dictates that the sentence was operational and running accordingly,” lawyer Dlamini stated.
It should be noted that the applicant was to initially serve 60 months without remission and as such it appears the applicant did not even get any remission if he is at his 47th month of the total sentence, it was further submitted. Meanwhile, Myeza was convicted and found guilty of fraud and was sentenced to five years in prison by High Court Judge Nkululeko Hlophe. He had been initially charged with his wife Phumzile, Musa Ngwenya and his company, PPC Electrical (Pty) Ltd.
Ngwenya and Phumzile were acquitted and discharged in terms of Section 174 (4) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act 1938, after their lawyer Mduduzi Mabila moved that application on their behalf.
The facts of the fraud charges were that on various dates ranging between August 2004 and November 2005, all the accused persons, while acting in furtherance of a common purpose, misrepresented to the Royal Swaziland Police that they had performed certain electrical works as reflected in invoices prepared and presented to the RSP and subsequently to the Swaziland Government treasury department for payment.He once filed an appeal where he was released sometime in 2014, but was re-arrested and was now serving his sentence at the Bhalekane Correctional facility.