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ARSON ATTEMPT IN EX-MINISTER, SIBLINGS ESTATE ROW

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MANZINI - An ongoing estate battle between siblings, including a former minister, almost turned nasty as there was an arson attack attempt on one of the properties in dispute.

The incident took place in Mankayane in the early hours of yesterday. According to a source close to the matter, a Mobile Money (MoMo) outlet was burnt, but it was discovered that the target was a building which houses one of the restaurants in the area. He said the arsonists who targeted the structure, allegedly used a petrol bomb as there was a strong smell of petrol at the scene and that marks which were found on the wall of the building made them conclude that the target was the business.

Investigations

The source said at first, people assumed that the incident was politically motivated, but as the police continued with their investigations, they unearthed that it had to do with the estate battle of the family in question. According to the source, the siblings were allegedly fighting over the estate which was left by their late father. He alleged that as the fight over the estate continued, one of them collected rentals from the properties which were owned by their father and did not share the money with the others. “This worsened the situation among them,” the source said.

However, without insinuating that it was a certain faction of the siblings who wanted to torch the building, the source mentioned that the police investigation linked the incident to the ongoing estate battle. Efforts of getting a comment from the siblings proved futile as their mobile phones rang unanswered for the better part of yesterday afternoon.

Message

Clarity was also sought from the former minister through a text message, but by the time of compiling this report yesterday afternoon, he had not responded.
Meanwhile, Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati confirmed the incident. She said the police gathered that the incident was a result of a family dispute. However, she said the amount of the damages was yet to be compiled. She added that investigations were ongoing and no arrest had been made so far. Worth noting is that in an almost similar incident, a son to the late businessman Richard ‘Phakama’ Dlamini went to Phakama Investments garage, where the fleet of his father’s buses were parked, and doused one of them with petrol and threatened to set it alight, something which could have probably killed him in the process. However, the family members managed to reach an agreement as they sorted out their differences.                                            

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