MBABANE: Lawrence Lukhele, the owner of the now ‘defunct’ Eswatini Daily News allegedly tried to sellout the President of the Swaziland Liberation Movement(SWALIMO) Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane to the police.
Eswatini Daily News was an online platform that was promoting government, it later collapsed after failing to receive support from the public in the midst of the growing calls for democratic reforms.
On or around December 2021, this investigative journalist received information from a high profile source who works closely with King Mswati that police were preparing to cross the border to apprehend the SWALIMO President.
Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu' Simelane, the then Siphofaneni MP who is critical of King Mswati and his Government is wanted on politically motivated terrorism charges.
“Please call and alert Magawugawu batsi balungisela kumbamba kulamalanga eCarolina, butsi banemuntfu wabo lombitile konkhe sekume ngemumo. Batsi banemuntfu wabo ngalapho lowenta ngatsi uyiSWALIMO(meaning: they are preparing to apprehend him at Carolina. They said they have their informer who pretends to be a SWALIMO member, he invited him to Carolina”, said the source who alerted this journalist.
Upon receiving the information, this journalist conducted investigations to gather more information including the identity of the person who tried to lure the SWALIMO President to Carolina.
Reached for comments on Thursday, Mduduzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane confirmed that Lawrence Lukhele tried to invite him to come to Carolina but he declined.
“I can confirm that towards Christmas, I received a call from Lawrence who told me that he was owning a Guest House business at Corolina and asked that I must come and support him by staying in his Guest House”, said the SWALIMO President.
Superintendent Phindile Vilakati, the police Spokesperson had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
When this journalist contacted Lawrence Lukhele, the then owner of Eswatini Daily News, he confirmed inviting the SWALIMO President to his Guest House situated at Carolina but denied that he was on a mission to sell him out to the police.
“I did invite him to support me in the Guest House business but there’s no way I could have sold him out to the police because we are very close. I am no longer running the online publication but I’m now owning a Guest House at Carolina. I was only asking for support. I’m not even aware that he is wanted by the police”, he said.
When this journalist probed Lukhele further demanding to know how he could claim not to be aware that the SWALIMO President’s life was in danger and that he was wanted by the police yet he was owning a news platform, he said he was not interested in politics.
“As you know me, I am not interested in these politics and I wasn’t aware that there is even a political unrest in eSwatini”, he said.
The SWALIMO President is being hunted by Mswati’s police, he was charged for terrorism among other politically motivated criminal charges after an order allegedly issued by King Mswati.
Simelane was one of the MPs who were vocal in Parliament demanding democratic reforms and was subsequently removed as an MP.
SWALIMO President Mduduzi Simelane and Lawrence Lukhele