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SIPHOFANENI – There was drama at the Siphofaneni roadshow hosted by outgoing MP Nomalungelo LaZwide Simelane, when her contender, Moshoeshoe Nkambule, also showed face, purportedly to distribute food.

Over 300 supporters of Simelane, who is a Member of Parliament (MP) candidate under Siphofaneni Constituency, bayed for the blood of a truck driver, who was part of Nkambule’s convoy at the sports ground, where the show was ongoing. Simelane hosted the event at the sports ground after it was disallowed at the Siphofaneni Bus Rank, allegedly by Lubombo Regional Administrator (RA) Themba Msibi, following that some vendors complained that they would lose business, should the event be held there.


Nkambule was driving a Toyota GD6 double cab. The incident happened at around 3pm, when Nkambule and over 10 of his supporters, clad in campaign T-shirts, arrived at the sports ground, with the truck loaded with food and drinks. Upon arrival, his supporters opened the truck doors and started to distribute the food and drinks, much to the amusement of the onlooking supporters of Simelane. However, after some supporters noticed Nkambule’s car and the distribution process, they went to the stationary truck and enquired what was happening.

Some of the supporters started pelting the truck with stones, while Swaziland Liberation Movement (SWALIMO) Spokesperson Thantaza Silolo tried to calm the situation, in vain. The truck door was closed by the agitated supporters of Simelane, who asked why they were distributing food in an event they were not invited to. As the altercation unfolded, the truck driver was mobbed and one supporter of Simelane took the truck keys.

Simelane’s infuriated supporters forcefully opened the door and looted the drinks and food. Pupils from schools around Siphofaneni also helped themselves to the food and drinks. Notable was that Nkambule made a U-turn and left the volatile situation. Efforts to get a comment from him hit a snag as he did not take calls when called several times on his cellphone.

He was to be asked to shed light on what prompted him to visit an event of his competitor, who had not invited him. Simelane said she had not invited Nkambule and wondered what prompted him to come to her event.  She added that it appeared that the MP candidate, who hails from Madlenya Umphakatsi was trying to decampaign her.

“I was shocked, but there is nothing you can say as my event was banned at the bus rank, but fortunately I managed to host it at the sports ground,” she said.  She further thanked her supporters for coming in numbers to support her event and indicated that this was significant in ensuring that more people would cascade to their polling stations to vote for her. When asked if she would report the matter to traditional authorities, Simelane said she was yet to consult her advisors on the next step to take. Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Communications Officer Mbonisi Bhembe said Simelane should report the matter to the traditional authorities and then to the commission.

Bhembe explained that it was wrong to campaign using food and narrated that the matter was a complicated one. However, he did not rule out the prospects of investigating it to unearth the circumstances leading to what unfolded. “If the competitor came with food, the candidate has to report to the police,” he said. Worth mentioning is that spicing the event were Shongwe and Khuphuka Saved Group, Shiba and Travellers, Gogo Eswatini and S’lwane, and Bonginkosi ‘Zola 7’ Dlamini, who arrived at around 5pm.