SWAZILAND ADVISED TO REPEAL DEATH SENTENCE
December 15, 2011: Swaziland is one of the countries that have been urged to consider repealing the death sentence.
Mtsambama MP Bheki Mkhonta who is also Chairperson of the Ministry Justice and Constitutional Affairs portfolio committee said the country is expected to commence discussions on whether this can be done or not.
He has recently returned from a trip in Italy where countries looked into issues relating to the death sentence.
Mkhonta was in that country to attend the 39th Congress of the Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty. He represented Speaker of the House of Assembly Prince Guduza.
"We talked about global politics and also looked into the UN resolution on renouncing the death penalty. Countries were looking at how it can be removed and why it would be good or not to remove it," he said.
Speaking on national radio yesterday morning, he said comparatively the country fares better than others regarding this.
This he said because no one has been executed in the country since 1983 even though initially there were 45 people who had been sentenced to hang but it never happened.
He said at least 43 were granted prerogative of mercy.
The meeting resolved that UN member states begin internal processes of interrogating the matter.
"We resolved that we go back to our respective countries to initiate talks about the possible removal of the death penalty," he said.
The MP said the country also fared better than other states regarding the welfare of inmates.
He said to his surprise Swaziland was apparently doing better than developed states including the hosts.
"Swaziland fares better in treatment of inmates regarding the conditions of stay. We had a look at Italy and found we are better than them in some areas even though they are a first world state. You would expect them to be advanced as they are first world but they are not," said Mkhonta.
He said the Commissioner of Correctional Services Isaiah Ntshangase and his staff are to be commended for this. (Sources: times.co.sz, 15/12/2011)