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MANZINI – The man purported to be the commander of the Solidarity Forces and an accomplice have been arrested by Eswatini police.

The pair, according to sources, was arrested on Wednesday along the borderline with South Africa. Their arrest was subsequent to a video footage wherein the duo was accused of trying to steal firearms. In one of the video footages, they were seen dressing up and while doing so, on former police officer Thabo Kunene, there were visible lacerations were noted on former policer Thabo Kunene’s legs and knees.

The pair was said to have committed the criminal act in South Africa at one of the homesteads of a businessman and traditional healer, known as Dr Mkhulu. This was further circulated online by the Swaziland News on Wednesday night. Swaziland International Solidarity Forces (SISF) is a group believed to have been carrying out terrorist activities around the country and was made known to the public by social media.


The group has, in the past months, been known to have participated in the murder of over 10 people, who included a chief and State security personnel. They were also said to have disclosed their presence whenever setting structures of key people alight. At some point, a person purporting to be the commander of the solidarity forces released a voice note, which grounded the country, as it ordered people to stay at home and not report for work. The voice note of the said commander claimed that those who would dare not heed the instruction would face ‘the music’. In one of the visual footages, which circulated on social media on Wednesday, Kunene, who claimed to be the leader of the solidarity forces, said his entity had killed 14 people in total.

He said, among them, four were law enforcers. This was when he was allegedly being interrogated by the traditional healer and his security personnel.
He said: “I have not killed anyone myself, but the arrested individuals were part of my team.” Meanwhile, subsequent to Dr Mkhulu and his team enquiring from the pair their motive, it was claimed that they were let off and the duo reportedly made their way into the country. It was claimed that while they made their way into Eswatini, along one of the informal crossing points, a team of police officers apprehended them. They are said to have been transported to one of the police stations in the Manzini Region.


Sources disclosed that the pair was assisting police with information regarding a number of acts which included arson, attempted murder and murder.
According to the sources, the detention of Kunene and his accomplice had caused panic among some people such that they contacted Dr Mkhulu, requesting that he should free them. It was gathered that some of the people even extended offers to the businessman on how they would compensate him.

Sources further informed this publication that leading to the arrest, there was a provisional warrant of arrest for Kunene, based on investigations which linked him to the SISF. It was claimed that the police apprehended him based on that warrant, along the borderline as he was deemed a person of interest to the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS). Despite the news of Kunene and his accomplice being viral on social media, Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati could not be drawn for comment. She said: “The rightful people will engage on this. For now, they are still working.”

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