Swazi Courts Act, 1950
Act 80 of 1950
- Commenced on 1 January 1951
- [This is the version of this document at 1 December 1998.]
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Swazi Courts Act, 1950.
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—“Chief” mean a Chief recognised as such by any law in force in Swaziland;“Judicial Commissioner” means an officer appointed in writing by the Public Service Commission to carry out the duties laid down in this Act;“Law of Swaziland” means the common law and statute law in force in Swaziland, other than Swazi law or custom;“the Ngwenyama” means the Ngwenyama acting after such consultation with his Libandhla as is required by Swazi law and customs;“Swazi Court” means a Court established or recognised under this Act.[Amended L.34/1966 and L.N.8/1969]
3. Establishment of Swazi Courts
4. Constitution of Court
5. Suspension and dismissal of members
6. SessionsA Swazi Court shall hold sessions at such times as may be necessary for the convenient and speedy despatch of the business of the Court; but the Ngwenyama may direct sessions to be held at such times as he shall think fit.
7. Civil jurisdiction
8. Criminal jurisdiction
9. Cases excluded from ordinary jurisdictionSubject to any express provision conferring jurisdiction, no Swazi Court shall have jurisdiction to try—
10. Personal interestNo member of any Swazi Court shall adjudicate upon any matter or thing in which he is pecuniarily or personally interested.
11. Laws to be administeredSubject to the provisions of this Act a Swazi Court shall administer—
12. PunishmentsFor offences against Swazi law or custom a Swazi Court may, subject to the provisions of this Act and subject to the terms of the warrant constituting the Court, impose a fine or may order imprisonment or both, or may inflict any punishment authorised by Swazi law or custom provided that such punishment is not repugnant to natural justice and humanity; and the fine or other punishment shall in no case be excessive but shall always be commensurate with the nature and circumstances of the offence and the circumstances of the offender.[Amended L.34/1966]
13. When execution of sentence may be suspendedThe execution of the sentence of a Swazi Court shall not be suspended by reason of any appeal against a conviction, unless the sentence is that the accused shall suffer corporal punishment, in which case the sentence shall not be executed until the appeal has been heard and decided.
14. Committal to prisonSubject to the provisions of sections 30, 33 and 35, where a person is required to serve a sentence of imprisonment in pursuance of a judgment of a Swazi Court, whether the sentence of imprisonment was imposed without the option of a fine, or upon the expiry or the period allowed by the Swazi Court within which to pay an alternative fine, the member who presided at the trial shall commit the person to prison by warrant under his hand there to serve the sentence imposed on him.[Amended L.34/1966]
15. Recovery of fines, damages, etc.A Swazi Court may order that any fine, damages or other payment which it shall impose shall be paid at such time or times and by such instalments, and in kind or otherwise, as it shall think just; and in default of payment of any fine or of any instalment of the same when due, the Court may order that the amount of the fine or of the instalment as the case may be, shall be levied by the sale of any property belonging to the offender and situate within the area of the jurisdiction of the Court.
16. Compensation to aggrieved personsA Swazi Court may direct any fine, or such part thereof as it shall deem fit, or any compensation awarded to it, to be paid to the person injured or aggrieved by the act or omission in respect of which such fine or compensation was imposed, on condition that such person, if he shall accept the same, shall not have or maintain any suit for the recovery of damages for the loss or injury sustained by him by reason of such act or omission.
17. Contempt of CourtA person who—
18. Offences relating to executionA person who—
19. Power to summon witnesses
20. Provision for the summoning of witnesses or parties outside the area of the jurisdiction of a Swazi CourtThe Ngwenyama may confer upon Swazi Courts such powers as he may think necessary to secure the appearance before any such Court of any member of the Swazi nation outside the area of the jurisdiction of such Court, when his appearance is required as a defendant in any proceeding within the jurisdiction of such Court or as a witness in any such proceeding.
21. Practice and procedureSubject to such rules as may be made under section 40 the practice and procedure of Swazi Courts shall be regulated in accordance with Swazi law and custom.
22. Record of cases to be keptEvery Swazi Court shall keep, in writing, a record of all cases tried by it, in such form as the Ngwenyama may direct.
23. Parties to appear in personNotwithstanding anything contained in any other law, no advocate or legal practitioner may appear or act for any party before a Swazi Court.
24. Adjudication without authorityA person who exercises or attempts to exercise judicial powers within the area of jurisdiction of a duly constituted Swazi Court, except in accordance with the provisions of this Act or any other law in force in Swaziland, or who sits as a member of such Court without due authority, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding four hundred emalangeni, or, in default of payment thereof, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding twelve months, or to such imprisonment without option of a fine, or to both:Provided that nothing contained in the section shall apply to any person who in accordance with Swazi custom attends the proceedings before a Swazi Court and assists the Court in any civil or criminal case.[Amended L.34/66]
25. Members of Swazi Courts taking rewardsA person who expects to be a member of a Swazi Court, and who wilfully accepts or obtains or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain from any person, for himself or for any other person, a reward for doing or forbearing to do any act as a member of such Court, or for showing or forbearing to show as a member of such Court, favour or disfavour to any person, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding six hundred emalangeni, or, in default of payment thereof, imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or such imprisonment without the option of a fine, or to both.[Amended L.34/1966]
26. Taking reward for influencing Swazi CourtsA person who wilfully accepts or obtains or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain from any person, for himself or for any other person, any reward, whether in money or otherwise, for inducing a Swazi Court, or any member thereof by corrupt or illegal means or by personal influence, to do or forbear to do an act which such Court or member is authorised or required to do in the exercise of lawful jurisdiction, or to show favour or disfavour to any person, shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding four hundred emalangeni, or, in default of payment thereof imprisonment for a period not exceeding twelve months, or such imprisonment without option of a fine, or both.[Amended L.34/1966]
27. Penalty for false evidenceA person who in any proceeding before a Swazi Court gives evidence upon oath or according to Swazi law and custom, which he knows to be false, or believes to be false, or does not believe to be true, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred emalangeni or, in default of payment thereof, imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or such imprisonment without the option of a fine, or both.[Amended L.34/1966]
28. Transfer of cases
29. Procedure on transfer to Magistrate’s Court
30. Revisory powers in criminal proceedings
31. Revisory powers in civil proceedings
32. Courts of AppealThe Ngwenyama may, by warrant under his hand, recognise any Swazi Court or establish such Swazi Courts of Appeal as he shall think fit, or a Higher Court of Appeal from any specified Swazi Court in Swaziland in respect of any of the cases arising therein.
34. Appeals out of timeLeave to appeal out of time to a Court prescribed by section 33 may be given by such Court upon such terms as to the Court seem just.
35. Power on appealA Swazi Court of Appeal, the Judicial Commissioner or the High Court in the exercise of Appellate jurisdiction in a cause or matter under this Act may require the aid of such persons as assessors, chosen from a panel by the Ngwenyama, as the Court shall think fit and may—
36. Interpleader actionsAll interpleader actions arising out of any execution of a judgment of the High Court on Appeal from a judgment or order of a Swazi Court shall be tried in the first instance by the Subordinate Court within whose jurisdiction the property in dispute was taken in attachment, subject to an appeal to the High Court.[Original section 34 repealed L.N.38/1967; present section added from Cap. 3]
37. Execution of orders of Swazi CourtsA Swazi Court shall carry into execution any decree or order of the High Court or of a Magistrate’s Court or of any other Swazi Court directed to the Court, and shall execute all warrants and serve all process issued by any such Courts and directed to the Court for execution or service, and shall generally give such assistance to said Courts as may be required.
38. Indemnity of officers acting judiciallyNo person shall be liable to be sued in any court for an act done or ordered to be done by him in the exercise of jurisdiction conferred by this Act, whether or not within the limits of his jurisdiction, if at the time of such act or order he believed in good faith that he had jurisdiction to do the act or to make the order; and no officer of any court or other person bound to execute lawful warrants or orders issued or made in the exercise of jurisdiction conferred by this Act shall be liable to be sued in any court for the execution of a warrant or order which he would be bound to execute, if the person issuing the same had been acting in the exercise of lawful authority.
39. Power to make rulesThe Ngwenyama may make rules for—
40. Provisions inapplicable to certain proceedingsThe provisions of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act No. 67 of 38 shall not apply to the proceedings of a Swazi Court or to appeals therefrom under section 33 or to the revision of the proceedings thereof under section 30.[Amended corrigendum of 2/2/1979]
41. Existing CourtsNotwithstanding anything in this Act a Native Court in Swaziland exercising jurisdiction in accordance with Swazi law and custom at the commencement of this Act shall continue to exercise such jurisdiction until the Ngwenyama, by written notice, directs that such court shall no longer exercise jurisdiction, or unless a warrant under section 3 be sooner issued recognising or establishing such court as a Swazi Court under this Act.
History of this document
01 December 1998 this version
01 January 1951
Cited documents 0
Documents citing this one 30
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