Suspended Swaziland Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi has been admitted at Mbabane Clinic after complaining of dizziness.
Justice Ramodibedi—a Mosotho who had been Swaziland’s Chief Justice since 2010 and was Lesotho’s Court of Appeal president from 2008 until his resignation last year to avoid impeachment for possible abuse of office—was expected to attend his impeachment hearing at the Royal Swazi Sun Convention on Tuesday this week.
However, the hearing subsequently proceeded without the learned judge after he was transported from his house in Thembelihle by an ambulance at around 11:30am and rushed to the clinic where he was admitted.
According to Swazi media reports, the drama started at around 8am when Justice Ramodibedi’s chauffeur arrived at his mansion hoping to transport him to the hearing in Ezulwini. However, the driver was told to go back as the suspended judge was not feeling well.
According to the Swazi Observer, a few minutes later, the driver left the judges’ complex and after an hour, Sipho Mnisi, who was Justice Ramodibedi’s attorney before he sacked him on Monday, arrived at the complex.
Minutes later, an ambulance arrived to take Justice Ramodibedi, and his wife while their son was chauffeured in a Mercedes Benz, the paper noted.
Late in the afternoon, Justice Ramodibedi’s elder son, Napo and daughter were “ushered into their father’s ward” by police officers, which the Swazi Observer suggested the illness could have been serious.
Meanwhile, Justice Ramodibedi, who once barricaded himself in his house for 37 days from 17 April 2015 to avoid arrest for alleged abuse of power, on Monday told the High Court through Advocate Mnisi that he was not feeling well hence he could not appear before the court.
The judge had earlier launched an application before the High Court seeking the arrest warrant to be nullified. However, High Court Judge Justice Mbutfo Mamba rejected the application on the grounds it was “misconceived and without merits”.
According to media reports, members of the Royal Swaziland Police (RSP), who had been stationed at Justice Ramodibedi’s home since a warrant of his arrest was issued on 17 April 2015, had now moved to Mbabane Clinic to ensure he does not slip out of the facility.