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MPS’ LAWYER: I’LL CONTINUE CALLING FOR POLITICAL REFORMS

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MBABANE – South Africa-based Lawyer Sicelo Mngomezulu says his prohibition from Eswatini will not stop him from speaking about the country’s issues.

Mngomezulu yesterday informed the Times of Eswatini, in an interview after government issued a legal notice declaring him an undesirable and prohibited immigrant, that he would continue calling for political reforms on behalf of members of the public. According to Legal Notice No.331 of 2022; “Mr Celimphilo Hlabeyakhe Sicelo Mngomezulu, a national of the Republic of South Africa, born on July 11, 1979 and bearer of the Republic of South Africa Passport No. M00227027, is declared an undesirable and prohibited immigrant of the Kingdom of Eswatini.”

Gazette

The gazette was issued by the Minister of Home Affairs, Princess Lindiwe, yesterday. Mngomezulu is a member of the legal team representing Hosea and Ngwempisi Members of Parliament (MPs), Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube. His declaration as an illegal immigrant came a couple of weeks after he promised to slaughter a cow for maidens under Hosea Inkhundla, who would not attend the ongoing Reed Dance Ceremony. When asked how he got to know about the gazette declaring him a prohibited immigrant, Mngomezulu said he came across it in the media like everybody else. He said there was no communication from anyone from government. He mentioned that these were some of the issues that needed to be fixed in the country. He was in South Africa (SA) when the interview was conducted.


According to the lawyer, everybody knew that the country was not governed to the satisfaction of the people and that human rights were violated.
“There was no due process. I was not informed and I was not cautioned on anything, perhaps because there was nothing to caution me on. Maybe they are not used to somebody who speaks like me or a lawyer like me, but they funded my education,” said Mngomezulu. Some of the issues faced by the country, according to Mngomezulu, were high unemployment and poor service delivery. He said prohibiting him from Eswatini would not solve the country’s problems.

“The people are still calling for the reforms they yearn for. The regime will have to change and democratise, whether I’m banned or not. People like me, who have their blood in Swaziland (Eswatini), should be helping the country. “The ban won’t stop me from speaking for the people. I speak my mind and speak anywhere. What I say appeals to a vast majority of emaSwati who want these reforms,” he said. Mngomezulu went on to state that he did not benefit anything from what he was doing because, as a businessman, he was doing extremely well. “It means nothing to me but it means a lot to the emaSwati who want to live better lives.”

Challenge

When asked if he would challenge the legal notice, he said it was still early days to do so. He mentioned that a gazette was a legal document, so his legal team was still to consider their next course of action. Mngomezulu said if anyone had an issue with a legal document, they could approach the court for its intervention. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a statement later in the day to state that, according to reports, Mngomezulu called a meeting where he told those in attendance not to attend Umhlanga.  “Furthermore, it must be noted that his call to boycott Umhlanga was a direct call to disregard a call made by the country’s authorities, thus acted adversely to national interest, and this was in violation of the Public Order Act 2017, in particular Section 15(3) (b). Consequently, this led the Honourable Minister of Home Affairs to evoke Section 3 of the Immigration Act of 1982,” reads part of the statement issued by the ministry.

The ministry also pointed out that Mngomezulu was not a legal representative for the incarcerated MPs because he had no rights of audience in the courts of the Kingdom of Eswatini. “Henceforth, the decision to declare him undesirable will not affect the ongoing case at the High Court.”

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