Swaziland: Activist Editor On Contempt Charge

Swaziland's best-known pro-democracy journalist Bheki Makhubu faces two charges of contempt of court for comments he allegedly made to a magistrate in a private phone call.

Makhubu's monthly magazine, the Nation, is the only source of journalism within Swaziland that consistently advocates for freedom in the kingdom and against the regime dominated by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch.

Makhubu has published articles critical of the Swazi Royal Family and the amount of money they take from ordinary Swazi people in the kingdom's annual national budget.

The Times of Swaziland newspaper quoted 'reliable sources' alleging Makhubu used insulting words to Mbabane Magistrate Phathaphatha Mdluli in a phone call.

Makhubu is expected to appear before Mdluli in court on 20 December 2012, the newspaper reported.

Makhubu was previously in the High Court on contempt charges in February 2012, when he was accused by Majahenkhaba Dlamini, the Swazi Attorney-General of publishing an article that 'questioned the wisdom' of King Mswati.

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