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PUDEMO disavows Silolo’s confession

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MBABANE – PUDEMO has distanced itself from Thantaza Silolo’s confession just days after he was sentenced to 65 years in prison.


PUDEMO is an acronym for the People’s United Democratic Movement. Contained in a statement issued by PUDEMO Spokesperson Zakhele Mabuza is how the organisation states that it does not advocate for the use of violence as means to achieve political change. Mabuza stated that PUDEMO is an organisation committed to the pursuance of dialogue as means of solving political conflict.


“Today, June 20, 2013, the Times of Swaziland reports that comrade Thantaza Silolo, a member of our youth wing, Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), has been sentenced to 65 years in prison for a string of petrol bombings on government structures.


Confessed


“The courts effectively stated he would serve only 20 years because he confessed and was cooperating with the police,” the statement reads.
Though not denying Silolo’s involvement with the party, PUDEMO does distance itself from his confession. Mabuza said they believed Silolo when he allegedly told the organisation that he was being targeted by the authorities after government structures were bombed and he was taken to South Africa by PUDEMO as a safety measure.


“It was not difficult for us to believe Silolo’s story, as a premier liberation movement PUDEMO is always ostracised for ‘inciting’ the masses hence being the first target for any witch hunt. Since we also carry the mandate of protecting our members from being the victims of the state’s investigations and targeting PUDEMO members, we had to act fast on comrade Silolo’s plea to go to exile,” Mabuza stated.


PUDEMO stated that it was with surprise that they learnt that Silolo had returned to Swaziland and had confessed to crimes which linked PUDEMO to violence.


Difficult


“It is not difficult to understand why Silolo was on the state’s wanted list. Before joining PUDEMO in 2005 he was a senior member of the King’s regiment,” the statement reads.
PUDEMO has stated that plans for meetings with Silolo’s family to discuss Silolo and his involvement with the organisation were underway.

 

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