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PASTOR SIKHUMBUZO SHOOTS, KILLS BUSINESSMAN

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MANZINI – “If he is dead, condolences to his family.”

This was said by Pastor Sikhumbuzo Shongwe following a shooting incident last night. Shongwe allegedly shot dead a businessman he accused of being the cause of the disintegration of his marriage to Nonjabuliso Nkonyane. The man, *Malik, was allegedly shot in the head and other sections of the body.  The shooting was said to have happened just after 7pm at Luve, under Mkhiweni Constituency. It is a known fact that Shongwe operates a business in the small town of Luve, which is popularly known as ‘Fish Town’. Luve is located 37 kilometres north- east of Manzini. The shooting of Malik happened five months and four days after the pastor allegedly shot his estranged wife five times at their matrimonial home at Tisuka, five kilometres from manzini central business district (CBD).

Self-defence

Shongwe confirmed that he had fired shots at the businessman in what he termed self-defence. This, he said, after news of the shooting started to circulate. He said while at Luve, he saw the businssman (name deliberately withheld as his family had not been reached at the time of compiling this report)  driving into the town and he hid his vehicle by parking next to a kombi. Thereafter, Shongwe claimed that he alighted from the car and stood between two structures. He supposed that this was in fear of interacting with Malik as there had been allegations that he wanted to kill him. Shongwe claimed that these allegations were reported at Mliba Police Station. Furthermore, he supposed that the office of the National Commissioner of Police (NATCOM) was alerted of same.This, he alleged, was done by his father – Bishop Nash Shongwe. Shongwe, who is out on bail for the attempted murder of his wife, claimed that the efforts set to draw the attention of the police, to the threats purportedly levelled against him, fell through. In his narration, Shongwe supposed that he lurked in the dark to avoid contact with Malik.

However, he alleged  that while standing in the dark, Malik walked towards him. According to Shongwe, it was at this instance that he went to his car to get a gun in a quest to defend himself. Shongwe claimed that his belief was that Malik was coming towards him when he fired the shots. When asked if Malik was carrying a  gun when he fired the shots, Shongwe said he was not aware. He also claimed not to know how many shots he had fired. Shongwe rhetorically asked who should have died? This was after he made allegations that he had reported his impasse with the deceased several times to the police. At about 8pm, Shongwe had claimed that he would surrender himself to the police this morning. However, at about 9pm, he contacted this publication and claimed to be in consultation with his legal team. This, he said, was in preparation of handing himself to the police at about 10pm. However, when asked about the precise time he would go to the police station, Shongwe said he would spend the night at the Manzini Police Station.

Deputy Police Information and Communications Officer Inspector Nosipho Mnguni confirmed the shooting. Mnguni also confirmed that the businessman allegedly shot by Shongwe had died. However, the police spokesperson could not confirm the allegations made by Shongwe that he had reported the threats by the businessman. On the other hand, after shooting his wife on August 22, 2021, Shongwe opted to surrender himself a day after the shooting.

Wife

His wife was at the time admitted to Manzini Clinic, where she was operated on her to retrieve the bullets. Following the attempted murder, upon being discharged from hospital, Shongwe’s spouse filed for divorce. Meanwhile, Shongwe and the man he allegedly shot had a history of misunderstandings such that a court order was issued against him not to be found in close proximity of Shongwe’s spouse.  On the other hand, Shongwe was ordered not to contact the man or his relatives. During the argument of his initial bail application, the crown, in its opposing papers, annexed a statement by the businessman he had recorded with the police succinctly where he stated that he feared for his life after Shongwe, on diverse occasions, purportedly threatened to shoot him.

In the statement, the businessman proceeded to narrate how on different occasions Shongwe accosted him in various places threatening to shoot him for allegedly being in an adulterous relationship with his wife. It is worth noting that about 11 bail conditions were set by the High Court of Eswatini after he allegedly shot his wife several times on August 22, 2021, at their rented flat at Moneni, Manzini. One of the conditions was that he should not be found to have committed a similar offence. Once again, it is worth noting that the gun which he used to shoot his wife is believed to be under police custody as it is kept as an exhibit. The clergyman was admitted to E100 000 bail on August 31, 2021, by Judge Mbutfo Mamba, who ordered him to pay E10 000 cash and provide surety for the balance.

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