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Justice Minister must stop seizing dagga farmers’ properties

Sunday, 5th July, 2020

It only in eSwatini where a Justice Minister with strong links to drug dealing and money laundering have the powers to seize properties of dagga farmers who worked hard under such oppressive political environment to earn a living.

The media reports suggesting that Pholile Dlamini-Shakantu is now grabbing private properties owned by the powerless individuals who are surviving through dagga farming in the rural areas is a matter of serious concern, particularly because the Committee responsible for such consists of the most corrupt individuals in this country. 

Let me challenge the Justice Minister to publicly declare all the properties owned by her husband Michello Shakantu in eSwatini and those hidden in South Africa. The properties include various multi-million cars and houses situated at Fourways and Hatfield in Johannesburg and registered under Michello Shankantu’s other wife Colette Kgabang Shakantu, his children Onratile Munsaka Shakantu and Kamogelo Mafokwane, their daughter from Colette Shakantu previous marriage. 

Pholile Dlamini should give an explanation to the public how her husband’s 19-year old unemployed son acquired multi-million properties at the time when Shakantu’s Inyatsi Construction is corruptly dominating the construction industry in the country, looting taxpayers through tenders. 

As an investigative journalist, I have the discretion to expose the Justice Minister and her corrupt husband but as she goes around ‘terrorizing’ innocent citizens, demanding that they declare how they accumulated their properties, she must first do the same with her husband. It is very unfortunate that, unlike Pholile and her husband, some of these dagga farmers had never stolen any cent from government through the manipulation of tenders, but today, a group of corrupt thugs calling themselves the Criminal Assets and Recovery Committee(CARC) are grabbing their properties. 

This is not to suggests that all the members of this Committee are corrupt but the inclusion of Pholile, a Justice Minister with strong links to drug dealing and money laundering might taint the reputation of the other members as per the adage suggesting that “a rotten potato spoils the whole bag”.

It is worth mentioning that the situation in this country suggests that its now the survival of the fittest, the most corrupt with power are now oppressing the powerless, grabbing their properties, in the midst of this chaos, Mswati, the unemployed King who owns multi-billion properties is nowhere to be found.

Let me state clearly that I am not against the lifestyle audit as a measure to fight corruption but I’m strongly opposed to the manipulation of the law, where giant drug dealers with a privilege to be in power are scrambling for the properties of the powerless, this is an act of injustice that should be discouraged. Under a democratic government that upload the rule of law, only a court of law can issue an order directing the Asserts Recovery Committee to seize the properties shortly after the suspect has been convicted of criminal activities. But in this country, corrupt thugs organize themselves as Asserts Recovery Committee and subsequently identify their targets, drug dealers and corrupt individuals are now expected to justify their properties to an equally corrupt Minister, Pholile Dlamini-Shakantu.

But then, we can write articles and defend the vulnerable and powerless including these dagga farmers, however, Emaswati must learn to fight and defend what belongs to them.


Inyatsi Construction Director Michello Shakantu is living like a King in our country merely because he was strategic to marry and share a pillow with a member of the royal family Pholile Dlamini, the current Minister of Justice. This means, by extension, our justice system is controlled by a corrupt Zambian who is likely to influence judicial decisions in bed by directing Pholile where to grab properties to be sold so that government can pay Inyatsi outstanding invoices, the powerless are now serious trouble in this country. It is clear that Pholile will subsequently become the beneficiary of the seizing of properties as government will collect the money to pay Inyatsi, a company with links to Mswati.

But then, King Mswati should also take the blame, how can he sell our country to a corrupt Zambian whose wife is now seizing properties from the powerless? Government is now broke and might not be able to sustain social obligations but then, it is unjust to target people who never stole any cent from the State but has been surviving through dagga farming, the Minister must start with her husband and surrender all the stolen millions that were allegedly looted through Inyatsi.









Justice Minister must stop seizing dagga farmers’ properties
Justice Minister Pholile Shakantu