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ALPHEOUS MATTER DEALT WITH AT DIPLOMATIC LEVEL

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MBABANE – Government is not taking its Spokesperson, Alpheous Nxumalo’s statement about South Africa, lightly.

The matter, according to government, is now being dealt with at diplomatic level. This comes after the intervention of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Thuli Dladla, who said government was working on the issue diplomatically. Dladla was responding to this publication’s questions, regarding the matter whereby the South African Deputy Director-General responsible for Public Diplomacy in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Clayson Monyela, said the statement made by the Eswatini Government spokesperson to the effect that ‘South Africa is infested with a cancer of criminality from head to toe’, was very unfortunate.  

Diplomatically

Dladla, in her brief response, said: “We are working on the issue diplomatically.” Monyela said the South African Government would be taking this matter up, using the proper diplomatic channels, to seek an explanation from the kingdom as to whether those views represented the country or an individual. He stated that they wanted to believe that the views expressed by Nxumalo were his own and not those of the Kingdom of Eswatini. He said it was a very unfortunate statement that was made by Nxumalo, but as South Africa, they would resist the temptation to return insults with insults.  “What we will not allow for South Africa and the people of this country is to be insulted by an individual hoping to be speaking on behalf of a neighbouring country. By the way, we have excellent relations with the Kingdom of Eswatini,” he said.

On Tuesday, SAfm journalist Sakina Kamwendo had a heated interview with Nxumalo. Kamwendo asked for Nxumalo’s comment on the allegations made by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) former Secretary General Godrich Gardee, who accused Eswatini authorities of being involved in his daughter’s murder case. When sought for comment, Nxumalo said he did not manage diplomatic relations between countries but he was a public speaker. He said diplomats would do what they had to do and he would continue to do what he had to do while in office.

 

IT WAS RESPONSE TO SPECIFIC QUESTION - NXUMALO

MBABANE – Government Spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo says he was not speaking to the Government of South Africa, but responding to a specific question. Nxumalo said the context was that; South Africa, like the rest of many other countries in the region, was infested with criminality from head to toe. He said hence they did not need some secret agencies from the Kingdom of Eswatini to inflict criminal activities among themselves, such as the murder of Godrich Gardee’s daughter. “They don’t need to be assisted by anyone outside their borders to commit such crimes,” said Nxumalo.

He said South Africans should solve their crime challenges without attempting to blackmail or export their criminality challenges to other countries in the region. He said as for the deputy general’s ‘overzealous’ reaction to the point of taking this matter out of its proper context and singularly carrying out a gun and running with one statement of such a lengthy interview, remained ‘unfortunate’ indeed. In his previous response to the allegations made by the South African politician, Nxumalo said the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) blockade had not been the first time that Eswatini’s border posts were closed by a political party, adding that a small demonstration at the border by the EFF did not warrant a government response. The blockades at the Ngwenya and Golela border posts, which lasted for six hours, were held in solidarity with the Eswatini wing of the EFF, as part of the party’s call for democracy and human rights in the country.

Director of Communications in the King’s Office Percy Simelane, described the accusations made by South African politician Gardee as weird witch-hunt. When contacted by this publication on Tuesday, Simelane, said: “We refuse to grace, this weird witch-hunt with a comment, save to point out that the murder in question was investigated by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and suspects were charged after intelligence had exhausted leads.”


NO MEDIA TALKS - GODRICH

MBABANE – Former Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Secretary General Godrich Gardee says he is currently not making any media ‘talks’ regarding the matter. Gardee was responding to this publication’s questions regarding his accusations against the country’s authorities. In his response to the questions sent by this publication to his Twitter inbox or DM, Gardee simply said: “I am fine and making no media talks.” On Monday, Gardee took to his Twitter page to accuse the country’s authorities of orchestrating the kidnapping, rape and brutal murder of his daughter Hillary. Gardee alleged that this was prompted by the border blockades held by the party back in April, which saw four borders of Eswatini being closed for more than six hours.

Coincidence

In his posts or tweets, Gardee said it was no coincidence that Hillary was kidnapped 17 days after the protest and that a member of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) was arrested and linked to the murder. The PUDEMO member who was arrested was Philemon Lukhele, who was arrested along with other two men, being Sipho Mkhatshwa and Albert Mduduzi Gama.

When they made their first appearance in court, it was revealed that they were facing six counts, which were conspiracy to murder, kidnapping, rape, murder, illegal possession of a firearm and defeating the ends of justice. The trio has been making their appearances in court since then. As of yesterday, one of the accused persons, Mkhatshwa, appeared in Nelspruit Magistrates Court for his bail hearing but was denied. The EFF members who were picketing outside the court described Mkhatshwa’s denied bail as a first win in the legal battle in the kidnapping and murder of Hillary. Lukhele was transferred to a maximum security prison in South African after he was allegedly found in possession of a cellphone inside a prison cell.

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