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MBABANE – Government Spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo has hit back at ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula for political utterances he made about Eswatini.

The Africa National Congress (ANC) Secretary General was briefing the media on the outcomes of the national executive committee (NEC) meeting and the election manifesto review this past Sunday, when he shared that it was the party’s desire to see the democratisation of the Kingdom of Eswatini to prevail. Mbalula spoke lengthily on the Russia-Ukraine war and how the ANC stands ready to support peace talk initiatives among the two countries as it was historic friends of the two sides of the war. He also shared that it was a similar stance they had over the Israel-Palestine conflict, wherein they continued to call for the two States solution with both countries living side by side in harmony and peace.


While highlighting these desires of world peace, Mbalula then mentioned the Kingdom of Eswatini, stating that they also desired for the democratisation of Eswatini to prevail. In response to these utterances, Nxumalo stated that Mbalula could keep his brand of democracy, one that allowed bodyguards of a deputy president to beat up mere road users to a pulp and leave them for dead on pavements of public roads; something which he said was undesirable here in Eswatini. A video clip emerged on social media over a week ago and showed how more than six members of the VIP protection unit attached to ANC Deputy President Paul Mashatile, assaulted the helpless and unarmed men in Johannesburg on the highway to Pretoria. “And of course, democratisation of Eswatini remains a sole responsibility for emaSwati, not for foreigners,” he said. This is the second time in less than a month that Nxumalo has reiterated on political utterances made by Mbalula on Eswatini. Nxumalo had a go at Mbalula for his utterances that South Africa could have long removed the Eswatini Government.


The ANC stalwart was making his address during the party’s series dialogue on the Russia-Ukraine war that it held about two weeks ago. Mbalula was communicating his party’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine war, stating that their position was a non-alignment to war but to justice. He shared that the perception of South Africa being on Russia’s corner amid the ongoing war was not true. While trying to emphasise on his point, there was a mention of Eswatini, where Mbalula made a vague claim that South Africa could have the removed the Eswatini Government for what was happening in the country but they did not subscribe to the removal of governments as they pleased. “We do not subscribe to the removal of governments as we wish, we respect the sovereignty of States and we believe that they must find solutions to their own problems. We would have removed Swaziland (Eswatini) for what is happening in that country,” he said. Nxumalo, responding to the utterances by Mbalula, shared that it was not clear as to what exactly the secretary general of the ANC was referring to with his comments when he said that “...otherwise we would have long removed what is happening in Swaziland.”


“Whatever it is Fikile Mbalula may wish to remove; he wouldn’t have the luxury of the time to remove it as the ANC, both at party and government level; as it was faced with and grappling with serious challenges that needed to be removed as early as yesterday,” said Nxumalo. He said the ANC was grappling and contending with the nerd to remove, among other things, the threatening implosion of a political party in decline and paralysed by corruption, crime,  division and factionalism while faced with a national general elections in less than 24 months. “When will Fikile Mbalula get the time to ‘remove’ anything from anywhere?” wondered Nxumalo. Another item that Nxumalo pointed as one of the things that needed to be removed by the ANC was load-shedding, which he said had crippled the economy of the neighbouring country and had reduced investor confidence to almost zero per cent.

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