Court cases in limbo as cops snub courts to in­vig­i­late ex­ams

Swazi Observer - - NATIONAL NEWS - By Si­fiso Nh­la­batsi Manzini

A num­ber of cases at the Manzini Mag­is­trate’s Courts are cur­rently stalling as mag­is­trates are in­formed that in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cers are not present to pro­vide ev­i­dence.

Most of­fi­cers are re­port­edly held up in­vig­i­lat­ing the on-go­ing ex­ter­nal ex­am­i­na­tions.

Sus­pects who are hop­ing for speedy tri­als are al­ways dis­ap­pointed when re­manded back into cus­tody and told to re­turn to court on an­other set date. Some of the sus­pects who ap­peared be­fore Manzini Mag­is­trate Nel­siwe Hlophe on Tues­day were told to come back on an­other date. One of the sus­pects who couldn’t even af­ford bail was told that he was be­ing re­manded back into po­lice cus­tody as the of­fi­cer who was sup­posed to lead ev­i­dence was in­vig­i­lat­ing ex­am­i­na­tions.

The de­ci­sion by gov­ern­ment to let po­lice of­fi­cers in­vig­i­late the ex­am­i­na­tions in­stead of teach­ers came af­ter teach­ers made it clear that they would not be in­vig­i­lat­ing be­cause gov­ern­ment was re­fus­ing to meet their de­mands in term of the Cost of Liv­ing Ad­just­ment (CoLA) whereby the teach­ers are de­mand­ing 6.5 per cent from gov­ern­ment.

The non-avail­abil­ity of po­lice of­fi­cers in court has had a lot of neg­a­tive im­pli­ca­tions not only in the smooth run­ning of courts but also on many as­sign­ments which are sup­posed to be car­ried out by the of­fi­cers posted in the dif­fer­ent ex­am­i­na­tion cen­tres.

The Swaziland Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Teach­ers (SNAT) has also con­demned the move by gov­ern­ment say­ing they are not trained to deal with school chil­dren.

ON PA­TROL: Po­lice of­fi­cers pa­trolling at the Ex­ams Coun­cil of Eswa­tini of­fices.

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