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MANZINI - There was drama at the Manzini Magistrates Court yesterday when a group of angry hawkers attacked the two men who have been arrested in connection with the murder of popular businessman and public transport owner, Jomo Khumalo.

Khumalo was gunned down last Wednesday in broad daylight at the traffic circle near Manzini Club.
A South African registered Toyota Quantum ferrying the two suspects, Maxwell Nkambule (62) of Mathendele, who is a member of Eswatini Interstate Transport Association and Senzo Sithole (37) of Mdumezulu, arrived in court at around 9am and parked at the main parking area. 

The latter is a businessman who is into car dealership.
The Quantum which had brought the two suspects to court was being driven by an officer from the Serious Crimes Unit (LUKHOZI).


While the officers ‘camped’ inside the Toyota Quantum with the suspects, some of the hawkers, who were carrying placards with messages written for the suspects, arrived. As journalists, members of the public, relatives and the hawkers waited for the suspects to alight from the vehicle, it was gathered that they were waiting for their attorney, Martin ‘Internash’ Dlamini. Two hours passed and the suspects had still not alighted from the vehicle.

They would be seen chatting to officers inside the kombi.
When Dlamini eventually arrived in court, he was called by one of the officers to the vehicle.
Another hour passed and there was still no sign of the duo coming out of the vehicle. This did not go down well with the angry hawkers who walked up to where the kombi had parked and demanded that the suspects be let out.

“Abaphume lamotini, sitobabona. Phumani nine la anisibo botfobhoyi, sifuna kunibamba ngetetfu tandla” – loosely translated, “Alight from the vehicle, so we can see you and grab you with our hands,” the hawkers were heard saying. When the team of police officers ignored the hawkers, they immediately went to the vehicle, in a bid to open it. However, in fear for the suspect’s lives, officers managed to stop them and the vehicle immediately drove off.  The group of hawkers began hurling insults at the suspects and officers while they sped off to another parking area.

This parking is known as the ‘underground parking’.  When they discovered that the suspects had been whisked off to a safer place, from the underground parking to the holding cells, the hawkers all went to the court passages, where they waited for their appearance. Information gathered was that the suspects were hurriedly ushered into the holding cells where they were locked up pending their appearance.  An hour later, which was now around 1pm, journalists and relatives among other people who had come for the case, were made to believe that the suspects would not appear.


Officers went from one courtroom to another in a bid to mislead those who had an interest in the matter.
The suspects were eventually seen being escorted by officers carrying rifles to Courtroom One. This they did through the courtroom underground entrances, where the holding cells are situated.

A while later, another attorney, Osborne Nzima, took over the matter. Information gathered was that Dlamini had personal issues with representing the suspects. Nzima sat inside Courtroom Three, where the rest of the people followed him.  A few minutes later, it was gathered that the suspects would be remanded in another courtroom, where fresh matters were held.

When relatives, friends and the hawkers, among others, realised that they had been sitting in the wrong courtroom, the suspects had already been remanded. This infuriated a lot of people, who were heard asking each other why they had been tricked by the team of police officers. During their appearance before Magistrate Xolile Nxumalo, the accused persons were informed of their rights, moving bail applications, if they wished to do so, through the High Court. The duo was remanded in custody until December 11, 2019, pending their committal to the High Court.

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: BUSINESSES operations
Should all businesses be allowed to operate beterrm 8-5pm?