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MBABANE - As police investigations into the attacks on law enforcement agents and burning of structures around the country intensify, a number of those who are implicated have gone into hiding.

They are said to have relocated to neighbouring countries, such as the Republic of South Africa and Mozambique, after learning that they had become people of interest to the police. Those who have left the country, according to insiders, did so upon getting wind that the police knew their identities and the role they allegedly played in the planning of the attacks. Among those who are now reportedly people of interest to the police are two executive members of proscribed political parties and about seven men who are reportedly members of the Swaziland Solidarity Forces.


The names of the alleged members of the underground forces, who are wanted by the police, are contained in some of the statements that were recorded by those who have already been arrested. Over 10 names appear in some of the statements that were recorded by those who have already been arrested, and those whose names appear therein are now being sought by law enforcers to assist them in their investigations. The members of the solidarity forces were given code names to use. “All the people who are mentioned in the statements are now wanted by the police and we are certain that they are not in the country. Police visited some of their homesteads only to find that they relocated after learning of the arrests of the others and mentioning of their names during interrogation by the law enforcers,” said an impeccable source.

He further highlighted that a majority of those who were now wanted by the police in connection with the attacks, left the country after the arrest of the seven alleged members of the Swaziland Solidarity Forces. The police, according to the informer, got to know the identities of those who were implicated after going through the cellphones of those who are currently behind bars. One of those mentioned in the statements and now wanted by the police is a businessman from the Hhohho Region and a family from northern Hhohho, which is said to have assisted the members of the Swaziland Solidarity Forces with accommodation and food while they went about attacking establishments.

A liSwati pastor who is now based in South Africa, who is said to have assisted the suspects with transport when they went for training, is also among those whom the police believe could assist them in their investigations.  Also reportedly being sought is the alleged commander of the Swaziland Solidarity Forces, who is said to be a former police officer. Despite that they use code names and numbers to conceal their identities, investigators are reportedly now aware of the actual identities of the said members after the seven, who are currently behind bars, revealed their identities during interrogation by the police.


Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati said as long as there were pending investigations and no suspects being apprehended (to answer to crimes), they would continue to investigate. Superintendent Vilakati urged those who were implicated or had information that could assist the police in their investigations, to come forward or avail themselves to them. Those who are currently incarcerated on charges of contravening the Suppression of Terrorism Act are Ncamiso Mabuyakhulu, who is a member of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), Philani Sihlongonyane, a member of the Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO) and German Robert Dlamini.  The trio face seven counts related to the murder of members of the three security forces.

Seven of the charges are for the murder of police officers, members of His Majesty’s Correctional Services and the Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force (UEDF). They also face six counts of contravening the Arms and Ammunition Act, 1964 as amended, for the alleged unlawful possession of firearms and rounds of ammunition. Also currently languishing behind bars are Musa Clement Kunene and Msindiso Ntshalintshali. They were allegedly found in possession of two grenades, 20 live rounds of ammunition and an Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force (UEDF) pair of trousers.

According to the composite summary of evidence against the duo, Kunene and one of the men who is now a witness, were the ones tasked with recruiting people from the country for training to overthrow the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini. In their investigations, the police said they found that one of the requirements for recruitment was to commit a criminal offence against the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini and obtain evidence of same through photographs and videos. It was brought to the attention of the court that during the terrorist attacks, members of the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) got information that certain people were suspected to be in possession of explosives.

The court was informed that investigations by the police revealed that Ntshalintshali and the man who is now a witness held numerous discussions on different dates regarding the current government.It is alleged that Ntshalintshali mentioned that he would have long overthrown the present government, but did not have weapons to accomplish the mission. The prosecution submitted that the witness allegedly disclosed to Ntshalintshali that he had weapons in the form of explosives and live rounds of ammunition. The most recent arrest is that of Sibusio Nxumalo, a member of Swazis First Democratic Front (SFDF), and his co-accused, Muzi Mnisi.


They are facing 38 charges, which include the attempted murder and murder of police officers in different parts of the country. In a statement Nxumalo recorded with the police, he revealed the identity of the commander of the Swaziland Solidarity Forces. Nxumalo also revealed to the police that they received amounts ranging from E200 to E500 and how they were trained in the Republic of South Africa. He also disclosed the role allegedly played by some leaders of political parties in their operations.  Nxumalo further disclosed the difficulties they encountered with some members of the Swaziland Solidarity Forces in the training camps in the neighbouring country. He alleged that during the training, they were sometimes starved since there was no money. He also revealed how they were trained with toy guns on how to shoot, as there was a shortage of firearms.

Nxumalo also disclosed the role that was allegedly played by the late SFDF member, Muzi Memma, who was abducted and killed no so long ago, during the recruitment of members of the Swaziland Solidarity Forces, who were later transported to the Republic of South Africa.  The members of the Swaziland Solidarity Forces, according to the accused, used certain code names, such as Marcelino ‘040’, ‘Putin 22’ and ‘Ntweba 20’, to refer to each other instead of their real names. The cases of all the seven suspects are still pending before court.

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