Senior lawyer Zweli Jele’s Robinson & Bertram Legal law firm condemns violence and calls for dialogue

The country’s biggest law firm Robinson Bertram Legal Practice has come out to condemn the ongoing massacre of unarmed citizens and the use of deadly force by the police and army. The law firm's senior partner Zweli Jele has come out to state that his law firm condemned in the strongest terms what he called “illegal and disproportionate use of violence or discriminatory practices by law enforcement authorities against unarmed eMaswati citizens”.

The law firm is the first to come out openly to condemn the ongoing use of brute force against unarmed protestors. Jele’s firm has seemingly broken ranks with the country’s prominent law firms and their representative body, the Law Society of Swailand, who have either been conspicuously silent or condemned the ongoing human rights violations in the language of circumlocutions.

Jele said that the use of violence not only flouted the fundamental human rights and values upon which our very country and Constitution is founded but also defied international obligations the Kingdom of Eswatini is a signatory to. “Each and every citizen has a right to take part in protest actions to demand their rights as guaranteed by the constitution. No one should therefore prevent someone from exercising that right.

Senior lawyer Zweli Jele

As a Legal Practice that upholds social justice and human rights, we cannot and will not stand in the face of such brutality. What we witnessed and have been subjected to throughout the country in recent times, including the horrific scenes in Mbabane and surrounding areas on Wednesday 20th October, must be condemned in the strongest terms,” Jele said in a brief statement sent to The Bridge.

Jele said his firm believed that the way out of this impasse was genuine and meaningful dialogue and respect for human life. Today the country witnessed the most horrific scenes of throwing a tear gas canister inside a bus full of protestors and then shooting those who came out through the windows. The police’s use of excessive force has been condemned by the United Nations General Secretary António Guterres. Guterres said the government must create an enabling environment where the people of the country can exercise their civil and political rights peacefully