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Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini defies King’s ruling, colludes with Attorney General to deny wife 50% stake in a R100 million estate.

Saturday, 4th September, 2021

MBABANE: Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini’s wife Cynthia Simelane-Dlamini now faces financial problems after the PM used his political and financial power to thwart the process of splitting an estate worth over R100 million.

Both electronic and documentary evidence suggests that it’s been a long journey for Simelane as she struggles to get justice, despite efforts to approach the courts and traditional structures.

It has been revealed that a powerful clique linked with the Prime Minister, including Judges, Attorney General Sifiso Khumalo among others, has been working towards ensuring that Simelane lose everything, she is on the verge of becoming a pedestrian and begging for a meal.

An independent investigation by this Swaziland News uncovered that after the King through the Ludzidzini Council ruled that Cleopas Dlamini and his wife, Cynthia Simelane, must share 50% of the multi-million Estate, the Prime Minister manipulated the judiciary to deprive Simelane of her stake.

 Reached for comments, Cynthia Simelane-Dlamini confirmed that she was being frustrated by her husband, whom she said was using his power to influence the judiciary, including the Attorney General’s office to deprive her a share in the Estate.

 “It’s true, I’m being frustrated by my husband who happens to be the Prime Minister, he is refusing to surrender my 50% share of the Estate and even went as far as using his political power and influence to manipulate the judiciary, just to make sure he frustrates and make my life miserable. I am the one who contributed the most in building this business empire back in the 80s. I bought the first property in Mbabane and at the time women were not allowed to register properties in their names hence it was registered under my husband’s name. Now I have financial problems and the Attorney General’s office is trying to push me to settle the matter out of court. I am refusing an out of court settlement, I want my 50% share but the Attorney General’s office is now reluctant to register the verdict of the Ludzidzini Council as a judicial decision because my husband is too powerful now. He was able to defy a ruling by the Council while he was a Senator, now it’s worse because he is a Prime Minister and too powerful” she said.

 Notably,  while this investigative journalist was interviewing and getting comments from the Prime Minister’s wife on Friday at around 1800hours, Mbuso Simelane, the then Acting Judge of the High Court now Deputy Attorney General (AG), called her and Simelane alerted this journalist.

”As we speak now, Mbuso is calling and he has been trying to convince me to settle the matter out of court” she said.

It was agreed that the Deputy AG must be called back with a different number so that this journalist could overhear and record the whole conversation for evidence purposes. 

 In the recorded conversation, between the Prime Minister's wife and the Deputy Attorney General, it transpired that the office of the AG was instructed by the Ludzidzini Council to register the traditional ruling that favoring Simelane to get 50% of the Estate to be made an order of the court, however, Mbuso seemed reluctant to do so without providing convincing reasons.

He tried to persuade the Prime Minister's wife to agree to an out-of-court settlement and Simelane asked him fiercely why he was forced to go out of court when there was a verdict that awarded her 50% of the estate.

 “I thought you and your lawyer are pushing for an out of court settlement, why don’t we wait for that” said the Deputy Attorney General.

 A questionnaire was then sent to the Deputy AG asking him to clarify his involvement in the matter, but he switched to the fast lane and declined to comment.

Nonhlanhla Dlamini, the Executive Director of the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA), said women continue to face challenges with the justice system whenever their rights are suppressed by those in power.

“As an organization, we fully support this woman, she has to get what she is entitled to. We have been mentioning that the judiciary is not independent and is easily influenced by those in power, this thing started to intensify during the time of Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi and as a result, women are the most affected,” she said.

It has been disclosed that after the Ludzidzini Council ruled in favour of Simelane, the PM’s wife, Attorney General Sifiso Khumalo allegedly advised the Prime Minister to register a Family Trust and transfer some of the money and assets to the Trust. 

This was confirmed by the PM’s wife when speaking to this publication, she said the purpose of establishing the Family Trust was to secretly transfer properties and money so that she could not benefit much from the State.

“Attorney General Sifiso Khumalo told me that he advised uMlangeni (Prime Minister) to open a Family Trust, solo kucindzetelwa mine so that part of the assets could be removed from the eState as if they belong to the Trust” she said.

A questionnaire was sent to the Attorney General Sifiso Khumalo, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

An independent investigation by this publication uncovered that at the time when the court was hearing the case before referring it to traditional structures for determination of the eState, Senator Cleopas Dlamini, now Prime Minister had already transferred some of the money to off-shore accounts.

Dlamini, a multi-millionaire was a Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the Public Service Pension Fund(PSPF) at the time when the institution awarded loans worth over R3billion to royal linked companies and Government.

Now, it has emerged that the marathon divorce case involving the PM and his wife was determined by the Ludzidzini Council as the highest custodian of Swazi Law and Custom, however, Dlamini subsequently defied the King’s order by refusing to surrender the 50% share to his wife.

The Ludzidzini Council also acts a traditional court, it determines cases in accordance with the Customary Law.

Speaking to this Swaziland News in an earlier interview, Chief Mdlaka Gamedze, the Chairman of the Ludzidzini Council said Cynthia Simelane appealed to the King after the High Court officially issued a divorce decree, but did not determine the sharing of their properties as their marriage certificate did not specify the kind of marriage they entered into.

“The court ruled and advised that since the two are Swati citizens they must approach traditional structures hence the wife then decided to appeal to the King through the Ludzidzini Council” said the Chairman.

Efforts were made by this publication to reach the Prime Minister, but he did not answer the phone.

But Dlamini was earlier quoted by the State owned Swazi Observer confirming that he will respect the King’s ruling on the matter.

“I don’t think I have much of a choice, there’s nothing really that I can say about the ruling” said the Senator.

Reached for comments, Colani Hlatswayo, the One Billion Rising Africa Coordinator said as an organization, they expect the PM to respect the ruling of the courts including that of the Ludzidzini Council and refrain from using his political power to frustrate the woman.

“If the courts issued a divorce decree and the King through the Ludzidzini Council ordered that the Prime Minister and his wife must share 50% of the eState, we expect the PM to respect that ruling and stop using his powers to frustrate the woman” said the Coordinator.

One Billion Rising is an international organization that advocates for the rights of women and children particularly, the girl child.

Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini defies King’s ruling, colludes with Attorney General to deny wife 50% stake in a R100 million estate.
Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini.