Cops want to kill me – Vuvulane ringleader
In hiding Vuvulane farmers’ ringleader Sithembiso Shongwe has made startling allegations against police, saying they want him dead.
Shongwe is one of the farmers at the forefront of the Vuvulane case, where aggrieved farmers are fighting both tooth and nail as they want the farm to be returned to them after they were evicted from it.
The farmers claim they were evicted from the farm by the Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation (RSSC) and Tibiyo TakaNgwane.
However, recently, both RSSC and Tibiyo TakaNgwane disassociated themselves from the alleged evictions.
During an interview on Friday morning, Shongwe said plain clothed police officers had been to Vuvulane hunting for him. He stated that the first group of officers came on December 24, 2018 looking for him.
Luckily, he managed to escape as an insider had informed him in time that a message had been communicated that he should be killed.
Since then, Shongwe has disappeared into an unknown location, which he said he would not disclose for his safety.
However, the location is known to this publication. He decided to go into hiding after another group of plain clothed police officers estimated to be around 13 came looking for him in the same vicinity, where he’s been hiding.
“Members of the Royal Eswatini Police Services (REPS) in the company of officers from the Operational Support Services Unit (OSSU) once again came on Thursday looking for me.
“When they did not find me, they attacked some middle aged men who were enjoying the New Year’s vibes in one of the popular hangout spots,” Shongwe said.
He said he had granted the newspaper the interview so that the world would know that should he be killed or vanish, the police would be respon- sible for it. He said his only sin was to be one of the ringleaders who were fighting that the farm should be returned to the Vuvulane farmers.
During the search, Shongwe pointed out that the police have been raiding homesteads of people he was close to.
Meanwhile, Chief Police Information and Communications Officer (CPICO) Superintendent Phindile Vilakati said police have not been l ooking for Shongwe.
However, she mentioned that Shongwe was on the police wanted list as he stands to answer on cases of assault.
She emphasised that police would not go out looking for Shongwe as the long hand of the law would eventually catch up with him. Dismissed
Vilakati dismissed Shongwe’s allegations that he was being pursued by police for being the Vuvulane farmers’ ringleader.
“Why would you pursue someone for being a ringleader? We want him for two assault cases but we haven’t been on the street to look for him,”
She suspected that the allegations that police wanted to kill him were made up as a way to hide something else.
Of note, the Vuvulane issue has detailed background but of late the reports of the farmers’ evictions have attracted the President of the Congress of South African Trade Unions Zingiswa Losi who offered to intervene on behalf of the farmers.
On the other hand, the Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation (RSSC) has indicated interest to address what it called the ‘one-sided story currently being propagated’. RSSC allegedly wants to meet the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) over the issue.
Former workers of the Vuvulane Irrigation Farmers (VIF) PTY LTD claim to have not been paid their benefits 12 years later.
VIF PTY LTD liquidator Sibusiso Motsa said the liquidation was underway because Tibiyo TakaNgwane had agreed to write off E27 million in debts.
The teenager showing an injury on his elbow which he fered when he was allegedly assaulted by the police. suf-