By Eugene Dube (Editor)
MATSAPHA- Witnesses have confirmed that Swazi soldiers and royal Swazi police officers allegedly killed 17 pro-democracy activists on Tuesday who demanded greater political and economic freedom at Swaziland Brewery while following King Mswati III’s order.
It is believed more than 17 protesters have been killed by the King’s forces however the Eswatini Royal Government is hiding the information and has since blocked the Internet.
Information gathered is that many of the killed people were members of the radical Economic Freedom Fighters of Swaziland (EFFSWA).
The Times of Eswatini newspaper claimed 9 protesters died during the protests.
Information reveals that other South African citizens were also killed by King Mswati III’s forces.
It not clear who brought the activists/lifeless bodies to the RFM as the hospital officials and others revealed conflicting statements.
Another protester who was present an EFF member and businessman Sicelo Mathunjwa (34) was shot dead in the head by soldiers and police officers.
Sicelo's younger brother Sifiso Mathunjwa confirmed the tragic death.
Sifiso Mathunjwa said, "We visited Raleigh Fitkin Memory Hospital on Tuesday, where we found my brother's corpse. He was shot in the head by soldiers and police for demanding political freedom.
He added," A gunshot is visible in his corpse .I was informed by hospital officials that he was shot dead with other several democracy activists at Matsapha at Swaziland Brewery.
The hospital authorities claimed his lifeless body was brought by other freedom fighters who managed to escape."
Benjamin Simelane, Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital (RFM) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) played his cards close to his chest when asked about this issue.
Simelane said," I can confirm that people were shot and died. But I cannot tell you the figures. Talk to the Ministry of Health about the figures. "
An anonymous nurse said," 100 people were shot by cops. I saw several lifeless bodies at Manzini Raleigh Fitkin Memorial. Some of these protestors were shot in the hospital yard. They were fleeing from the police and soldiers. But they shot."
An eyewitness, Zakhele Nkhambule confirmed the matter in an exclusive interview.
He continued, “Swazi soldiers and police killed 17 people demanding for an election of a president under a multiparty democracy system."
The killed activists entered the Swaziland Brewery premises in a bid to close the building as part of their protest.
However the King’s forces appeared armed with guns and shot dead the democracy activists at Brewery premises.
Nkambule narrated, “I was hiding under a truck and watched this whole painful incident. The police officers and soldiers then took away the lifeless bodies to the mortuary. They bundled the lifeless bodies into au van. There was a lot of blood on the ground."
He added, "The majority of the killed people are EFFSWA members. I can confirm 4 as known EFFSWA members."
"Dube feel free to quote me. Write down my name. I witnessed this. I will die for freedom. My fighters died while supporting the call for multiparty democracy in Swaziland. We want a president in Swaziland. Soldiers told us that King Mswati III and Lindani ordered the killing of freedom fighters, "said Nkhambule.
Thulani Motsa, EFF Swaziland Treasurer General confirmed the matter.
Motsa said, "I heard royal Swazi police and soldiers killed EFF Swaziland members. We are busy trying to address this issue."
It is suspected that other corpses were allegedly burnt and also dumped in forests by the King’s security forces.
Phindile Vilakati, Police Information and Communications Officer failed to explain why these Swazis were killed.
King Mswati’s government has blocked the Internet after killing the dozens of democracy activists.
In reacting to the Internet issue, a Swazi Vusi Sifundza said, "This is a barbaric strategy. The Swazi Royal family is trying to hide the number of people who have been killed by the police officers and soldiers during the protests. This has angered more people."
Another source in Mbabane contact with Moz24h claimed that among those killed some were still unknown and added that the list of people who have been killed by the soldiers that were sent by the King Mswati 111 and Themba Masuku and those that are known so far.
1. Thuba Ngwenya, 2. Mabutho Madondo, 3. Gladys Dlamini, 4. Smallboy Dludlu , 5. Thuba and Ndzimandze, 6. Mabuya Dlamini, 7. Musa Mziyako, 8. Thando Mvubu, 9. Nonhle Matsebula
10. Mbongseni Gamedze, 11. Simile Sangweni, 12. Nhlanhla Kunene , 13. Manqoba Matsenjwa, 14.Thandeka Dlamini , 15. Bongani Shongwe, 16. Machawe Mhlanga, 17. Sifiso Mngomezulu, 18. Sicelo Matsenjwa, 19. Siboniso Shongwe, 20. Bhekinkosi Dlamini, 21. Bhekinkosi Dlamini , 22. Bongi Magagula (Sigombeni), 23. Lungelo Vilakati and there are 6 dead bodies at Dups who are unknown. (Eugene Dube/Moz24h)