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PM, MINISTERS, SPEAKER AMONG 34 ON TARGET LIST - CROWN

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MBABANE - Prime Minister (PM) Cleopas Dlamini and his Cabinet were some of those who were on the list of people who were allegedly targeted by the three men who have been arrested.  

The trio of Zweli Simelane, Economic Freedom Fighters Swaziland member Siphosethu Malinga and Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO) member Mxolisi Simelane, are facing four charges of allegedly contravening the Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2018 and two of robbery. “Further investigations revealed that Siphosesethu Malinga entered the country to commit terrorism  acts with his co-accused persons and other persons who are at large.

Terrorism

“The acts of terrorism include dismantling Phuzumoya railway line for purposes of causing an accident, burning the official motor vehicle of Minister of Education and Training Lady Howard, attacking Members of Parliament (MPs) who are considered to be supporting and protecting His Majesty King Mswati III, submitted the Crown.  Some of those who are included on the list are Speaker in the House of Assembly Petros Mavimbela, Deputy Speaker Madala Mhlanga, Minister of Agriculture Jabulani Mabuza, among others. According to the indictment that was filed by the Crown yesterday, Malinga is said to have illegally entered the country, specifically for the attack on Cabinet ministers, MPs and senators who were not supporting the call for democracy.

It is alleged that on March 8, 2023 near Hhohho, Shiselweni, Manzini, Lubombo regions, the accused person, acting jointly in furtherance of a common purpose with other persons who are being sought by the police, unlawfully committed a terrorism act by engaging in an attempted action to dismantle Phuzumoya railway line for purposes of causing an accident. It is alleged that they also hatched a plan to attack the PM, his Cabinet, senators and MPs. The prosecution informed the court that the attempted action and/ ideological purposes was intended to intimidate the public or a section of the public and/or compel the Eswatini Government to abdicate its mandate or refrain from doing its mandate. 

In the indictment, it is further stated the attempted action by the accused was also meant to bring about the overthrow by force of the lawful Government of Eswatini. The accused are also facing charges of having a hand in the death of Mbongiseni Mthayi Dlamini, the officer from His Majesty’s Correctional Service, who was found dead at Lwandle, with a gunshot wound.   It is alleged that they committed this offence on November 4, 2022. These are allegations whose veracity is yet to be tested in court.

Accused

They further stand accused of having a hand in the burning of Sihle Dlamini’s parental home at Mhlabubovu. In the indictment, it is further alleged that on December 22, 2022, they robbed Sifiso Bulunga of his cellphone valued at E500.  On September 19, 2022, the accused persons allegedly robbed Justice Mbongeni Ngwenya of cellphones and money amounting to E2 500. Siphosethu alone is facing a charge of allegedly contravening the Passport Act of 1971.   It is alleged that on March 8, 2023, near Ngwenya, being ordinarily resident in Eswatini, unlawfully entered Eswatini from the Republic of South Africa without being in possession and/or presenting a valid passport or  similar document recognised by the Ministry of Home Affairs. According to the indictment that was filed by the Crown yesterday, the politicians whose names appeared on the list were purportedly considered by the accused persons to be supporting and protecting His Majesty King Mswati III, hence the plan to attack them.

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