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SFDF MAN, CO-ACCUSED FACE 35 TERRORISM CHARGES

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MBABANE - Swazis First Democratic Front (SFDF) member, Sibusiso Nxumalo and his co-accused Muzi Mnisi, are facing 35 charges of contravening the Suppression of Terrorism Act.

They are, among other charges, accused of having a hand in the murder and attempted murder of law enforcement agents in different parts of the country. Nxumalo and Mnisi are also said to be behind the attempted murder of Kwaluseni Member of Parliament (MP) Sibusiso Mabhanisi Dlamini, whose homestead was riddled with bullets. They are also said to be the ones who burnt property at the homestead of Chief Justice (CJ) Bheki Maphalala. The CJ’s homestead is situated at Jerusalem before Mbelebeleni. It was reported that the arsonists, who were about eight, were all carrying guns when they attacked the CJ’s homestead.

Burnt

It was reported that four houses were burnt and five cattle were also shot dead by the gunmen. In the indictment filed by the Crown yesterday, the two accused persons are allegedly the ones who attempted to kill Umbutfo Fanafana Bhembe. Bhembe was on his way to join the rest of Ingatja on their way to Esikhaleni Selusekwane to cut the sacred shrub, lusekwane, as part of the Incwala Ceremony. He is a member of Inyatsi Regiment. The warrior was shot in the upper abdomen. It was gathered that after the suspects shot him, they left the scene nonchalantly, assuming that there were no witnesses.

However, the sources pointed out that some people had witnessed the incident and alerted law enforcement and described the suspects to them. According to the indictment, the pair is further accused of the murder of KaZandondo Chief, Prince Mahloma Dlamini. It is further alleged that they also attempted to kill top detective Senior Superintendent Clement Sihlongonyane by shooting at him.  As per the charge sheet, Nxumalo and Mnisi are also said to be the ones behind the burning of two trucks belonging to Tisuka TakaNgwane. It is further alleged that they are the ones who set on fire the administration block at Nkiliji High School. The accused persons also stand accused of torching machinery belonging to Inyatsi Construction (PTY) Limited at Sigombeni Inyatsi Construction depot.  

The accused, according to the Crown, are also the ones who allegedly fired gunshots at Sigodvweni Police Station. They are also expected to answer on the shooting at Dumako Police Post, where a tractor driver was shot dead. The have also been slapped with the charge of burning State owned motor vehicles, which were parked at Pigg’s Peak CTA. The duo is also facing charges of violating the Arms and Ammunition Act, in that they were found in possession of firearms, which were purportedly used to commit a litany of offences. They yesterday made their maiden court appearance before Judge Nkosinathi Maseko for a remand hearing after they were arrested last week. They were remanded in custody until January 30, 2023. During their appearance at around 7pm, security was heightened as the High Court was littered with plain-clothes armed police offices. Appearing for the Crown in the matter was Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Lomvula Motsa, who was appearing along with Principal Crown Counsel Thabo Dlamini and Sandile Mdluli.

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