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MANZINI – It’s a war of words between the family of incarcerated businessman Sipho Shongwe and officers from His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS).

On the one hand, Shongwe’s family claims that they were now being denied visitation rights to their relative while HMCS alleges that Shongwe is the one who refuses to see his family.
Shongwe’s family claimed that over 30 relatives and friends were over the weekend turned back and refused visitation rights. Shongwe, who stands accused of the murder of prominent businessman and soccer administrator, Victor Gamedze, is alleged to be frustrated at the Matsapha Maximum Prison after his visitors, comprising mainly of relatives, family members and friends were refused entry into the place.


Speaking on behalf of the family, Shongwe’s brother, Vusi of Ngculwini, said they arrived at the place as usual on Saturday together with relatives and friends, who had travelled all the way from South Africa and upon arrival, senior officers informed them that they would not be allowed in. “We are really frustrated. Even one of his attorneys was also denied time to converse with him on Saturday. This is shocking and as a family, we are worried and question ourselves if he is well. If, for instance, he is not well, why are the officers hiding this information from us. After waiting for hours at the prison, about five senior officers and superiors at the place came to address us and informed us that my brother was refusing to see us this weekend,” Vusi said.

Another relative said they had been informed that Shongwe did not want to see any of his visitors after Correctional officers stopped him from seeing them at the Correctional library.
It was gathered that the place Shongwe had been allocated to see  his relatives and friends on a daily basis was the Correctional library, however, from this weekend, visitors were informed that they would have to spend time with him where other convicts met their visitors. “Why do they have to make such arrangements now? We have been visiting Shongwe every weekend and always found him in a secluded place at the library. However, all that has changed, he has to now mingle with other inmates, who are convicts, when he is still an accused person,” another relative, identified as Prince, said yesterday afternoon.


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