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MANZINI – Tears welled up in the eyes of six Mhubhe High School pupils, as they saw their future disintegrate before them.

Their future is in a dilemma following the ‘Sarafina’ movie like violence that took place at their school on Wednesday morning, which resulted in them being charged with malicious damage to property and theft.

Sarafina was a post-apartheid movie that sought to highlight injustices that were suffered by ethnic South Africans at the hands of a minority white population. Its storyline was centred on vocal learners, who adopted militant tactics, to have their voices heard.

The six pupils were informed that they allegedly damaged property at the school during the mayhem which amounted to E44 140. They were further accused of contributing to the theft of E10 650.


This is because following the riot, which resulted in the indefinite closure of the school, the police sought pupils suspected to be the ringleaders of the mayhem.
Consequently, a day after the incident, they (police) had rounded up and detained four learners accused of being in the forefront.

As the police proceeded with their investigations, yesterday morning, they detained three more learners. This tallied the number to seven detainees.
However, six of them were slapped with the two aforesaid charges.

Those charged were: Siyabonga ‘Juice’ Sihlongonyane (21) of Ngculwini, Bavukile Matsenjwa (22) of Maphungwane, Xolani ‘Chillies’ Dube (20) from Maliyaduma, Mcondisi Raymond Sikhondze (19) from Ngculwini, Thokozani ‘TK’ Khumalo (19) from Vulamehlo and Innocent Siyabonga ‘Mavishi’ Dlamini (19) from Fairview.


Following the additional arrests yesterday morning, members of the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) brought the suspects to the Manzini Magistrates Court at about 10:05am.
Subsequent to their arrival at the court premises, the suspects spent about an hour and a half packed like sardines at the back of a white police van, a Toyota Hilux.

This is because after alighting from the car, the three police officers that brought them to court spent about an hour and a half in the offices, doing administrative procedures. They eventually resurfaced from the offices just before noon.

That is when the pupils alighted from the back of the van and were escorted into the court room where they made their first appearance before Magistrate Philisiwe Simelane.

Since the matter was brought late to court, the prosecution started by negotiating with the magistrate to preside over it.
After successfully negotiating with her, the Crown applied that the accused persons be remanded back to custody until May 17, 2019 pending their trial date setting.


“Their bail is opposed for now because it will not be in the interest of justice for them to be released,” the Crown submitted.
The prosecution claimed that it had reasonable grounds and believes that the accused persons were planning to burn down Mhubhe High School as per information attained from their mobile phones.

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