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MBABANE - Police investigations have revealed that there were allegedly five failed plots by renowned football administrator and unionist Mashumi Shongwe to kill his wife, Tigezile Magongo.

Mashumi is facing a charge of murder after the death of his wife, who was a police officer. The charge sheet states that Shongwe acted jointly with an unknown individual, who is being sought, when allegedly committing the murder. Magongo was killed on November 30, 2022. Mashumi has moved an urgent bail application, which is, however, being robustly opposed by the Crown. In his opposing papers, the principal investigator of the case, Detective Sizwe Mazibuko, outlined how Shongwe allegedly hatched the plan to kill Magongo and also going to the extent of trying to seek services of members of the underground forces. Detective Mazibuko informed the court that the applicant (Mashumi) allegedly made five failed plots to kill his wife.


“The first one is when he hired a hit man from Secunda to kill his wife. The plot failed because they could not source a firearm. On the second attempt to kill his wife, the applicant organised a firearm from the Republic of South Africa, Durban. He sent someone to go and buy guns from a criminal gang in Durban. He sent someone from Eswatini, whom he gave money to buy the guns and also provided him with a motor vehicle. This attempt failed because the person who was sent was robbed the money and the motor vehicle,” alleged the investigator. He went on to tell the court that on the third attempt, Mashumi allegedly hired hit men from the Republic of South Africa (SA), who were able to reach Magongo’s place of residence.  According Detective Mazibuko, the hit men could not execute the plan to kill Magongo because they found her already inside the house.  


He alleged that an attempt was made to break and force entry into Magongo’s house, but the hit men were disturbed by a neighbour, who peeped through a window and made some alarming sounds. It was further his submission that the fourth attempt to kill Magongo was interrupted by barking and vicious dogs and this resulted in the hit men abandoning their mission. “The fifth failed attempt to kill Magongo was abandoned after the hit men came across a roadblock manned by combined members of the security forces. The hit men realised that security was tight within the vicinity of Magongo’s home and decided to abort the plan,” averred the investigator. He told the court that his investigations also revealed that the applicant (Mashumi) had allegedly been hatching plans to kill his wife. The investigator submitted that he interviewed and obtained a statement from a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters of Swaziland (EFFSWA). He alleged that the EFFSWA member told him how he first came to know Mashumi and that the latter then informed him (EFFSWA member) about personal issues between him and his wife.

“The applicant mentioned to the member that he was no longer happy with his wife. He then asked the member if he knew the so-called underground forces and why they were not coming to operate in Nhlangano. I submit that it became clear to me when interviewing the member that the applicant wanted to kill his wife and pin her death to the so-called underground forces,” submitted Mazibuko.


He alleged that Mashumi then tasked the EFFSWA member to get details of the underground forces. “I humbly submit that the applicant was taking advantage of the civil unrest. He wanted to kill his wife and pin her death to the civil unrest,” contended the principal investigator. As per the investigations, it is further alleged that Mashumi sent someone from Eswatini, whom he gave money to buy the guns and also provided him with a motor vehicle. “This attempt failed because the person sent was robbed of the money and the motor vehicle,” alleged Detective Mazibuko.   

He further brought it to the attention of the court that his investigations revealed that the applicant was allegedly abusive to the deceased. He submitted that the deceased during her lifetime, obtained a peace binding order against the applicant. The copy of the peace binding order is annexed to the opposing papers. “During the investigation, we also found evidence that the deceased approached non-governmental organisations, including the One Billion Campaign co-ordination to register her abuse at the hands of the applicant (sic). The matter went as far as the Deputy Prime Minister’s (DPM) Office, which is responsible for gender-based violence cases among other issues,” said Detective Mazibuko. He pleaded with the court not to release Mashumi on bail as he would endanger the safety of the public.

“The circumstance under which the crime was committed was very gruesome. Due to the nature of the offence and the manner in which it was executed, his release on bail will result in public shock and loss of confidence in the criminal justice system by members of the public,” he argued. He argued that the applicant was facing a serious charge and should he be convicted, he would be sentenced to a lengthy custodial sentence. This, according to the investigator, might also influence the applicant to evade trial. “The killing of women at the hands of their lovers is prevalent and the release of the applicant on bail will undermine or jeopardise the public confidence in the criminal justice system,” submitted Detective Mazibuko.


Meanwhile, in his application for bail, Mashumi claimed that the conflict between him and the deceased started after he intercepted telephone conversations and WhatsApp text messages from her cellphone. He told the court that, the conversations were allegedly with a certain Maseko of Matsapha. “My wife admitted to me that she was in a love relationship with the said Maseko and they had sexual intercourse on several occasions. Even the said Maseko admitted that he was in a love relationship with my wife and all that my wife had informed me was true,”  alleged Mashumi. He said from then on, despite informing his in-laws about his wife’s alleged adultery, she never stopped the infidelity and she became involved in love relations with several men. The bail application is pending before Judge Sabelo Masuku. The Crown is represented by Sandile Mdluli from the chamber of the director of public prosecutions, while appearing for the accused is Sandile Dlamini.