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MBABANE – The death of a police recruit, who was also a member of newly-formed political party, Swazis First Democratic Front (SFDF), has raised eyebrows regarding the vetting process of the police service.

It is a known fact that people who are affiliated to political parties do not get recruited into the country’s security forces and this was said in various quarters. At the time when the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) started the recruitment exercise for aspiring officers, the aspirants were told that there would be a vetting exercise to ensure that only those who qualified and met the criterion of the police service would be recruited. However, it would seem one person, at least for now, managed to slip through the vetting process. This was in the late aspiring cop, Simhle Fakudze, who was also a member of the SFDF.


It would seem at the time when Fakudze joined the police service, she was already a member of the SFDF. It could not be ascertained as to when Fakudze joined the service as a recruit following that the aspirants were called in different stages. Fakudze beat the vetting process as she requested to be removed from all the groups of the political party before attending the REPS interview. The police recruit died on Saturday following a nasty accident which happened at Nyanyali, along the Yith’ Abantu Highway, between Tri-Cash and Nkwene. A relative, who preferred anonymity, confirmed Fakudze’s passing. According to the family member, Fakudze, who was training as a police officer, was returning to the Police Academy on Saturday when she met her death. The relative stated that she had arrived at her parental home at Hluthi on Friday to check on her children and mother. He said Fakudze hitched-hiked from KaMjuda in Nhlangano. “This was after we had lunch together in Nhlangano as she had offered to buy me a meal,” the distraught relative said.

He said after eating, he accompanied her to the hiking spot and a car stopped and she jumped in. The family member said when they were around Mkhondvo, a van approached and there was a head-on collision and three people died, including Fakudze. According to the relative, all three people who died had hitched-hiked a lift. Furthermore, he said they were struggling to come to terms with Fakudze’s death as they were banking all hopes on the deceased to take care of the family. The relative said Fakudze’s mother was not employed and relied on odd jobs for a living. He said the mother was hoping things would be better following her daughter’s employment by the police service. The relative stated that they were not sure on whether Fakudze continued to participate in her party’s activities or not after being recruited. “What I know is that she left SFDF following pressure that she wanted a job, hence she had to choose (the police service),” the relative said.

However, the family member confirmed that Fakudze was a ‘comrade’ at heart. When questioned on whether REPS was aware of Fakudze’s affiliation to SFDF, the relative said they were aware that she was once a member but had left the party. The SFDF announced her tragic passing. Deputy President Dr Siphetfo Dlamini made the announcement. Dlamini stated that the family and relatives of the late Fakudze were working on the funeral logistics, adding that more information would be shared in due course. SFDF Youth President, Sihle Ndwandwe, said Fakudze was among their first members and was present when it was launched on December 10, 2022. Ndwandwe said Fakudze was among the 100 members who were present during the launch and there was nothing she said about her previous political affiliations. Asked on whether they were aware that Fakudze was training as a police officer, Ndwandwe said they knew as she did not hide it.


“Upon registration for membership at SFDF, she mentioned that she was unemployed,” Ndwandwe said. She said after a few days, Fakudze requested to be removed from the party’s WhatsApp groups as she was going to attend an interview with the police service and they might want go through her cellphone. “She did not formally report thereafter on what her position was, although we were aware that she was training at the Police Academy,” Ndwandwe said. The youth president stated that whenever the organisation held activities in Nhlangano, Fakudze would show up whenever she could. She said as a result, Fakudze attended the late Muzi Mmema’s funeral and when a branch was launched at Ntondozi, she was also present. These activities, Ndwandwe said, were conducted after Fakudze had joined the Police Academy.

REPS: We can’t confirm Fakudze’s affiliation

MBABANE – “We cannot confirm whether the late Simhle Fakudze was a member of Swazis First Democratic Front (SFDF).”

The above sentiments were shared by the Deputy Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Inspector Nosipho Mnguni. Mnguni confirmed though that Fakudze was a police recruit, but distanced herself from her being politically affiliated.


However, she said even though they could not confirm the deceased’s political affiliation, vetting at the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) for aspiring officers was a continous exercise. “Even though the aspiring officers have been accepted and are training, the exercise has not stopped,” she said when asked if they knew that Fakudze had affiliations to a political party. Mnguni said vetting was carried out until they were satisfied, adding that it was most likely that with Fakudze, they were eventually going to find out the truth.
According to Mnguni, the Police Act was flexible that the Office of the national commissioner (NATCOM) of Police could dismiss any individual found to be affiliated to political parties, once found.

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