16 bomb suspects will know their fate today
Times Mar 10

MBABANE – The 16 petrol bomb suspects, who are facing a serious charge of high treason, will know their fate today whether they are granted bail or not.

The acting Chief Justice, Jacobus Annandale yesterday reserved judgement until noon today.

The acting Chief Justice said due to work pressure, he will not prepare a written judgement because that can take time. Advocate David Nat Unterhalter instructed by Bongani Mdluli and Leo Gama appeared for the petrol bomb suspects in the matter, while the acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mumcy Dlamini represented the Crown. Advocate Lucas Maziya instructed by Thakane Mofokeng appeared on behalf of Robert Nzima in the matter.

When the bail application resumed on Tuesday, the acting DPP reported that the South African advocates who were to represent the state in the matter have since withdrawn.

They are Dr. Len Els (SC) and Advocate Anthony Viviers. Unterhalter applied that the suspects be granted bail because there is nothing connecting them with the offences.

They are charged with the spate of bombings on government structures. Advocate Unterhalter said in general, the purpose of bail is to strike a balance between the interests of society (that the accused should stand his trial and there should be no interference with the administration of justice) and the liberty of an accused (who, pending the outcome of his trial, is presumed to be innocent).

"The overarching inquiry is usually whether it would be in the interests of justice to release the arrested person on bail. In theory, this question is answered by balancing the arrested detainee's right to liberty against society's interest in securing his or her presence at the trial.

"The granting of bail may also be in the public interest since the prison system should not be clogged with awaiting trial prisoners, and families should not be deprived of breadwinners unnecessarily," he said.