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SIKHUPHE - The Prime Minister, Cleopas Dlamini, says government is now after the masterminds of the terrorism acts - killing of members of the State security organs and arson attacks.

The prime minister (PM) said this during a press conference held at King Mswati III (KMIII) International Airport, just before he jetted out of the country to Niger, where he will represent the King at the African Union (AU) Extraordinary Summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification and AU Extraordinary Session on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). He said on Tuesday morning, they woke up to disturbing news that the Chief Justice (CJ), Bheki Maphalala’s home at Jerusalem in the Shiselweni Region was attacked by gunmen who torched houses and killed five of the CJ’s cattle.


The home of the CJ was reportedly invaded by eight gunmen who ordered two people who were manning the homestead to lie down, before torching the home and shooting the five cattle. The PM said this incident followed many others where people, mainly members of the State security organs, were killed, infrastructure was burnt and businesses together with individuals were robbed by armed robbers. He sent government’s sympathy to the Maphalala family and promised them that the culprits would be brought to book.

Thereafter, the PM said it was already public knowledge that the police, who work hand-in-hand with the other security forces; the Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force (UEDF) and His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS), had put behind bars a number of suspects, in connection with some of the aforementioned violent criminal activities – which he had been for a long time referring to as terrorism.

In that regard, he said as government, they commend members of the State security organs and members of the public who assisted and continue to assist their mission to bring the suspects to book. He added that without the assistance of the public, they would have not arrested the suspects.
“It is encouraging to note that some of the suspects are spilling the beans. They are telling the police who are behind the terrorism acts and now we know them,” the PM said.

He said some of the suspects had made confessions that they found themselves in this mess because they were after money and they were sent by people who claimed they want democracy. To substantiate their (suspects) claims, the PM said they told them that after accomplishing their mission, they took videos and pictures and sent them to the alleged main sources of the attacks as proof that they had done what they had been sent to do. He said later on, they would see the videos and pictures published by some of the online media houses.  

However, the PM did not disclose how much the suspects were paid for carrying out the violent acts. Worth noting is that the PM made this claims just after the Senate President, Pastor Lindiwe Dlamini, alleged that terrorists were funded by international non-governmental organisations (NGOs).  The premier said since the incarcerated suspects claimed that the people who sent them wanted democracy, as government, they wondered what did the killing of members of the State security organs, torching infrastructure and committing armed robberies had to do with liberation. 

Therefore, he said, with the information they were getting from the suspects who were already behind bars, they would use necessary means to follow and apprehend the masterminds behind the violent acts. “We know who they are (masterminds) and we are coming for them. It will not be long before we put them behind bars. Batolitfota lelimanti,” the PM said. He said according to analysis, the violent acts were carried out to instil fear among emaSwati so that they could be afraid to speak. As such, he said if people would be quiet, the assumption would be that they concurred with them. However, he said things would not go their way since the members of the State security organs had already started arresting some of the suspects.

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