Swaziland Wants to Appoint Hangman

King Mswati III's Swaziland government is in search of a hangman so prisoners presently on death row may be executed.

The Swazi Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze said a job vacancy advert would be placed as soon as possible.

Gamedze told the Weekend Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati, an advert had been placed last year but no suitable applicants had put their name forward.

The Observer reported that taxpayers, who they did not name, had complained about the cost of keeping death-row inmates in prison.

Gamedze said his ministry was waiting for permission to place the hangman's advert again. Immediately they got the instruction, they would definitely re-advertise the post, the Observer reported him saying.

The Observer said, 'Some of the concerned members of the public' (again, who they did not name) wanted to see David Simelane, who had been sentenced to death last year (2012) for killing 28 people, executed. At least five other people are thought to be waiting execution in Swaziland.

The Observer said families to victims (who they did not name) 'who were murdered by the convicts ... said they were comforted when the courts issued the [death] sentences but it pained them to see that the convicts were still enjoying full benefits for inmates at the correctional institutions'.

In October 2011, Swaziland was heavily criticised at the UN Universal Periodic Review into human rights in the kingdom for continuing to have the death penalty. Gamedze told the UN that although the death penalty existed in Swaziland the last execution had been in 1983. He said this showed that the kingdom was abolitionist in practice.

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