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MBABANE – A Commission of Inquiry into the recent recruitment of soldiers by the USDF has found that there was a lot of corruption by senior army officials who were mandated to conduct the exercise.

One of the senior army officials who had been fingered by the recruits, who were later expelled from the army, is Colonel Jeffry Simelane. It is alleged that among those he allegedly unlawfully recruited were his sons. Simelane and the other senior officials had been assigned to conduct recruitment from areas known as Emhambate.

Emahambate are areas under Swazi Nation Land, which have no chiefs and which are directly under the control of His Majesty King Mswati III.
 It was found that instead of conducting the recruitment exercise as per the order of the Commander in Chief (His Majesty King Mswati III), Simelane and the other senior officials allegedly decided to recruit their relatives and ignored the proper candidates.

During the sitting of the commission of inquiry, the expelled recruits recorded statements where they narrated how they were unlawfully recruited by the senior army officials.
In May this year it was reported that about 60 army, recruits were shown the exit door from the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) Infantry School in Mbuluzi.
Army Commander, General Sobantu Dlamini, mentioned that following an outcry from the public and from Members of Parliament (MPs) concerning the irregularities in the recruitment exercise, he then established a Commission of Inquiry into the recruitment.

The Commission of Inquiry comprised of Lieutenant General Tsembeni Magongo, who was the Chairperson, Major General Moses Fakudze (member) and Captain Thokozani Dlamini, who was the secretary.
Its terms of reference were: to investigate any irregularities in the 2017 recruitment process in particular at Tinkhundla centres and Chiefdoms; to find out whether or not all those who were announced to have qualified at their Tinkhundla centres were eventually called to undergo medical examination; to hear and consider the medical results of those who were called to undergo medical examination; to find out whether or not those who failed the medical test were replaced by candidates from the same constituencies; find out all those who were involved in the irregularities and also advise and make recommendations to the USDF Commander based on its findings arising from the submissions.
The commission was also mandated to find out if those who qualified both at Tinkhundla and at Phocweni Defence Clinic were finally enlisted.

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