WOZA leader released after ‘shock’ two day detention

The co-leader of pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), Jenni Williams, was released from custody this week after she was detained following a ‘shock’ decision by a magistrate.

Jenni Williams,
Jenni Williams,

Williams and her WOZA co-leader Magodonga Mahlangu appeared before Magistrate Godwin Sengweni on Monday as part of a continuing trial.

As part of the proceedings the WOZA women’s lawyers presented a doctors certificate regarding Williams’ health, as well as proof of purchase of medication causing drowsiness.

The defence team then requested a postponement of the trial until the High Court application had been finalised.

But Prosecutor Goodluck Katenaire vehemently opposed the application insisting Williams was faking illness to stall the proceedings and that she should take the stand. He went on to to complain that 'these are the people who say justice delayed is justice denied'. He made accusations that the doctors certificate and prescription were ‘fake’.

According to a WOZA statement released Thursday, Magistrate Sengweni returned to deliver a “shocking ruling.”

“He narrated how Williams could not walk unaided and had to be helped in and out of the dock, that she was obviously unable to pay attention to proceedings. He then referred to the court as a 'human court' and ordered that she be sent to prison 'to save her life and dignity' and be seen by a prison doctor. He then remanded both accused persons to reappear before him on 15 March,” WOZA said in a statement.

Williams was escorted out of court and transported to the Mlondolozi prison complex. She was eventually released two days later, having spent the time without her medication or food.

The trial continues. SW Radio Africa

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