JUDGE QINISILE LANDS TOP POST
His Majesty King Mswati III’s decision to endorse High Court Judge Qinisile Mabuza to represent the country in the COMESA Court of Justice has been justified.
Judge Mabuza was yesterday elected Principal Judge of the COMESA Court of First Instance. Mabuza’s court is made up of seven judges of the 19 member states of the trade bloc.
COMESA stands for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
This is one of the senior posts after that of the appellate division in the COMESA court of justice which is led by Judge President Lombe Chibesakunda, which hears appeals of judgments, handed down by the COMESA Court of First Instance.
Mabuza’s star continues to shine after His Majesty the King blocked the appointment of junior Judge Mpendulo Simelane whose name had been clandestinely been pushed by former Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi and supported by then justice and constitutional affairs minister Sen. Sibusiso Shongwe.
Judge Mabuza was elected yesterday during the meeting of the member states’ ministers of justice and Attorney Generals held in Lusaka, Zambia, COMESA’S Headquarters.
Representing the country was ICT Minister Dumsani Ndlangamandla.
Mabuza was appointed a judge in the COMESA Court of Justice after a recommendation by His Majesty King Mswati III last year and sat for her first case in September 2015.
Judge Mabuza will be heading a court comprising of six judges.
The COMESA Court of Justice was established in 1994 under Article 7 of the COMESA Treaty. The Authority which is the supreme policy organ of COMESA appointed the Judges of the Court during its 3rd Summit on 30th June, 1998 at Kinshasa in the DR Congo.
In the first instance division, she sits with judges Clotilde Mukamurera from Rwanda, Mary Kasango from Kenya and Leonard Gacuko from Burundi,
among others. The COMESA Court of Justice is the judicial organ of a regional economic community and is responsible for adjudicating disputes arising under the COMESA Treaty between COMESA’s member states, individuals and corporations.
When contacted last night on her election Judge Mabuza was elated and thanked His Majesty the King for demonstrating his confidence on her. She said whilst the work has been challenging but so far she has coped well.
“I am excited about this challenge and I will do everything to ensure that I represent my country well, by ensuring that I lead the business of the Court of First Instance effectively and ensure to keep the highest standards of professionalism and remain true to our oaths. So far I have enjoyed the support from other colleagues and I think we have developed a good understanding,” an elated COMESA Principal Judge Mabuza said.
She said her swearing in should happen soon at the COMESA Summit to be held in Madagascar.