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MBABANE - “Things turned sour at the training camp as things were changed and we were not given what we were promised.”

This is part of the information that Swazis First Democratic Front (SFDF) member Sibusiso Nxumalo related to the police. In his statement, Nxumalo alleged that a former legislator had promised to cater for their families and give them money, but he never did. He disclosed that even the commander was failing to do as they had been promised. “So serious were the problems such that we asked to directly speak to the former MP to confirm what we had been told by his son, who was usually checking up on us, to give us food to eat,” said Nxumalo.
He alleged that the former MP told them that: “We were in a struggle, so we must not expect favours.”


He went on to narrate that the former legislator then visited them at the camp but did not talk to them, only had a conversation with the commander. Nxumalo said after a misunderstanding with the former MP, they came back to Eswatini and they were given E500 each by the latter. The accused disclosed that some of them remained behind, including ‘Marcelino 040’, Putin 22’ and ‘20’. “The commander, is the one who gave us the numbers so that we can use them to conceal our identities,” alleged Nxumalo. The accused said they continued to communicate with the former MP while they were in Eswatini. Nxumalo stated that they even confronted ‘017’, whom he said was from the United Kingdom. He said they asked ‘017’ why they were using them. Nxumalo alleged that ‘017’ informed them that they were fixing the problems and they would call them. “The operations included the killing of security officers and burning of structures. The group of seven, which withdrew from Pretoria, was recalled at Lydenburg by an instructor who told us he was Maseko,” said Nxumalo.  
Lydenburg, officially known as Mashishing, is a town in Thaba Chweu Local Municipality, on the Mpumalanga Highveld, South Africa. It is situated on the Sterkspruit/Dorps River tributary of the Lepelle River at the summit of the Long Tom Pass.


“We trained at Lydenburg until the instructor got rid of us. He complained that our bosses were not taking care of us and they did not want to buy food and also pay him,” he said. Nxumalo, in his statement, is alleged to have stated that the instructor gave them E500 each and drove them to Pretoria where they boarded a public transport vehicle to Manzini. He claimed that he was with others whose code names were ‘41’ from Maphalaleni, ‘37’ from Mankayane, ‘36’ from Bulunga, ‘38’ from Madlangampisi and ‘39’ from Ezulwini. Nxumalo pointed out that, when they reached Eswatini, they planned that they should look for jobs since the training was not helping them anymore. He said when they confronted the former MP, he did not assist them with anything, but told them that they must join protests because they were trained and they should retaliate when they saw police officers controlling the crowd.
“It was in mid-October when the Eswatini Government issued a statement warning the public that there were armed and very dangerous men who had entered the country. I was phoned by the commander who said he wanted me and others to carry out the underground operations,” said Nxumalo.

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