By Wonderboy Dlamini | 2022-11-24
Sikhuphe - Prime Minister, Cleopas Dlamini, has vowed that more arrests are coming in connection with the recent murders and arson attacks as Saturday’s arrests were just the tip of an iceberg.
The premier said government was currently working tirelessly to clamp down on the perpetrators of violence, which had created a state of instability in the country.
Dlamini made these remarks at KMIII International Airport before jetting out of the country for Niger to attend the African Union Summit.
The prime minister first passed a message of empathy to Chief Justice, Bheki Maphalala, whose home at Mbelebeleni was burnt and some of his livestock killed on Tuesday.
He said government was shocked to wake up to the news of the chief justice's home having been attacked, adding to a list of other similar incidents.
The premier said government would not rest before bringing the perpetrators to book.
“Government strongly condemns the attack on Maphalala's home and vow that the perpetrators will be brought to book,” said the prime minister.
Dlamini said they had noted that there were many such incidents of violence directed to individuals who had dissenting views from those calling for political reforms.
He said it was evident that such attacks were meant at instilling fear to those who still believed in the current government.
The premier said the nation was currently engulfed by a state of fear, something which had also made it difficult to crack the cases of violence that were mostly murders and arson attacks.
He said a number of people who could have assisted by giving out information about the perpetrators feared for their lives, in case they were suspected of having blown the whistle.
Further, the premier said government had also learnt that the attacks were meant at intimidating people when the time for dialogue eventually comes.
“It is clear that these attacks are meant at silencing those who may have a different view on the calls for political reforms, in case the time for dialogue eventually comes,” he said.
Dlamini commended the police for having managed to apprehend some suspects in connection with the cases of murder and arson attacks, adding that the arrests were a result of cooperation by some members of the public who volunteered information, which led to a number of suspects being apprehended.
The prime minister said the suspects currently in custody were now 'spilling the beans' and revealing names of people who were behind the planning and execution of the attacks.
According to Dlamini, it was evident that the apprehended suspects were mere ‘hitmen’ who had been hired to do the dirty work.
“What we have now is that the arrested suspects were doing this just for money as they would be paid after carrying out each assignment,” said the prime minister.
He said the suspects revealed that they were ordered to always take pictures and videos after executing the attacks in order to claim their pay cheques.
The premier said the pic tures and videos were also shared on various media platforms, adding that this would be portrayed as a demonstration by the masses calling for political reforms. Dlamini added that government had also noted that most of the attacks were plain criminality as there were also robberies carried out by the people who had since been arrested.
He said with this information, which had been volunteered by the suspects, the security services were certain that there would be more arrests in the near future.
He said government would not allow the nation to be held in fear.
“Government is not naive to think that the job is done with the recent arrests, the real perpetrators are still on the run and we can assure the nation that they will be apprehended soon,” the prime minister reiterated. Police on Saturday arrested three suspects who on Tuesday made their first appearance in court for the murder of state security officers, among other charges.
The suspects, Philani Sihlongonyane, Ncamiso Mabuyaklhulu and German Robert Dlamini face 29 counts, which include seven of murder, one of attempted murder, four of kidnapping, eight of robbery and one of arson, among others.
The charges include the murder of two traffic officers from Manzini at Grand Valley, the kidnapping of Nyakatfo High School head teacher and the murder of a soldier who was shot at Mhlaleni.
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