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THULANI SHOOTING: MSF DISMISSES FUNDS MISAPPROPRIATION CLAIMS

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MANZINI – The Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF) has dismissed allegations that have started circulating in various social media platforms linking the demise of Thulani Maseko to mismanagement of funds.

The allegations which were shared by various individuals on social media insinuated that there were millions from undisclosed funders which were supposedly misappropriated. It was suggested in the allegations that the deceased human rights lawyer had channelled a portion of the funds to certain organisations and himself. The MSF and the family of Maseko, through Chairperson of the Institute for Democracy and Leadership (IDEAL), Barnes Dlamini, dismissed the allegations and said it was propaganda.

Nonsense

Dlamini said they would not entertain such as it was utter nonsense, given the character and calibre of the deceased. He said the Maseko family had endured a loss and as much as the deceased was a public figure, the public should respect his (Thulani’s) family. “I worked with Maseko for a long time and he had always been transparent, honest and straight to the point,” Dlamini said. He said they would not entertain such propaganda because they knew what Maseko stood for and also because they were in mourning. Dlamini said this was propaganda used in politics and as it was known, politics were defined as a dirty game due to such shenanigans at instances.

He said they knew Maseko as a person who spoke the truth without fear or favour and characterised himself as a poor lawyer because he served the people instead of being in pursuit of personal riches. Dlamini said it was for that reason that they would proceed with what they sought to achieve with Maseko, because it was not about self-gratification but it was for the betterment of the people. Meanwhile, the allegations started circulating following the speculation of what could have caused the assassination of the human rights lawyer. The deceased succumbed to three gunshot wounds which were aimed and fired towards him on Saturday, at around 9:10pm, in a cold-blooded murder.

Killed

He was killed while at his parental home at KaLuhleko, which is a community located about 50 kilometres south-west of Manzini and about 10 kilometres from Bhunya. The family members, who were identified as elders of the Maseko family to this publication’s reporters, said two of the bullets were aimed and pierced through the head of the deceased, while the third reportedly penetrated his upper abdomen on the left hand-side and exited on the right, leaving his body with a gash almost the size of a tennis ball. The bullet which pierced through his upper abdomen was said to have first grazed his left arm before cutting through his stomach and landing on the screen of a television set.

Some Maseko family members said the deceased human rights lawyer was shot while watching television with his family in a compound that he had constructed for his mother. It was said following the demise of Maseko’s mother, the lawyer shuffled between the two homesteads (his and parental home), which are less than 50 metres apart. The deceased’s next-of-kin said they received telephonic communication informing them that Maseko had been shot dead. It was said he was killed while seated with his wife and their two sons aged 11 and seven.

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