MBABANE: King Mswati and Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg are secretly transferring ownership of a huge portion of land including farms around the country held by Ingwenyama in Trust for the Swazi Nation through questionable lease agreements to their company Silulu Royal Holdings(PTY) LTD.
This evidence suggesting that Swazis will face eviction and be without land for the next ninety-nine(99) years forms part of an ongoing court case where citizens of Ezikhotheni Chiefdom under Chief Zwide Nxumalo in the Shiselweni region are being evicted and or stopped from continuing with ploughing and cultivating at Paradys Farm, Portion A of 96A of LCIP.
The King is allegedly using Jabulani Mabuza, the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives in the process of transferring the farms and Swazi Nation Land to his company,Judge Prince Ticheme Dlamini, a member of the Royal family is expected to preside over the matter involving his close relative, King Mswati.
Court documents in our possession with highly sensitive information exposing the King’s secret dealings in selling the Swazi Nation Land suggest that on or around 20th October 2020, Bongani Masuku, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture moved an application before the High Court for an order against the residents including Bernard Nxumalo who was accused of allocating the land to the citizens, the King wants the citizens evicted from the land.
“These documents comprise a “Special Power of Attorney” and two “Notarial Deeds of Lease”. The “Special Power of Attorney was prepared by Mabandla Jacob Manzini in his capacity as a notary Public in terms of which His Majesty King Mswati III in his capacity as Ingwenyama in trust for the Swazi Nation nominates, constitutes and appoints Jabulani Mabuza(in his capacity as Minister of Agriculture), “with power of substitution” to be his lawful agent and in particular to sign and execute on his behalf a notarial deed of lease in favour of Silulu Royal Holdings(PTY) LTD for a period of 99 years at a “nominal rental of E1,00 per annum. In this document the Ingwenyama lists the pieces of land properties that should form the subject of lease and they are 23 in all from around the country with Paradys Farm being one of them. Their total hectarage is +15 000. They are all registered in the name of Ingwenyama in Trust for Emaswati and for Indlovukati in trust for Emaswati” read court papers in part submitted by lawyers representing the residents.
The documents further revealed that the King systematically ‘sold’ the Swazi Nation Land to himself and his capitalists through the said close to 100-years lease with a rental fee of a mere One Lilangeni(E1.00) per year, Jabulani Mabuza, the Minister of Agriculture signed as a Leaser on behalf of the King, while Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg Silulu Royal Holdings(PTY)LTD, the Chairman of the Board of Directors signed as the Lessee.
It has been noted through the court documents that after the Swazi Nation Land including Farms belonging belonging to Emaswati was handed over to Silulu Royal Holdings, the company subsequently leased the land to Temaswati(PTY) LTD, another entity linked to the King, Sipho Mgwagwa Gamedze, the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Directors signed the documents.
The highly sensitive information that exposes the secret dealings of the King was prevented from reaching the public domain through the State controlled media despite that the matter is pending in court.
Eswatini has two major State controlled newspapers that include the Times of Eswatini, the Eswatini Observer(owned by the King through Tibiyo TakaNgwane), the State owned radio, eSwatini TV and Channel YeMaswati TV, journalists of the independent media are persecuted by the King’s police for writing critical articles. On or around 22nd February 2021, the King instructed a law-firm Brian Kahn Inc Attorneys to deal with the editor of this Swaziland News for writing critical articles about him.