Mbabane: “At late evening of January 14, 2018 at Galp Filling Station, Ezulwini…a shot…a splash…a second shot…”
This is how the mishap that played itself out at Ezulwini Galp Filling Station could be best described where football administrator and businessman Victor Gamedze was shot dead. Hardly two hours after the gruesome incident, was Gamedze confirmed dead. Two gunshot wounds are said to have claimed the life of the businessman, one in the cheek and the other around the forehead area.
The suspects linked to Gamedze’s murder were Sipho Shongwe, Sandile ‘Dzodzo’ Zikalala, Mbuso ‘Ncaza’ Nkosi and Sphiwe ‘Tata’ Ngubane. Beleaguered Shongwe is in custody as his trial is still ongoing while Ngubane is the state accomplice witness. Ngubane was extradited into the country in December last year and has been here for almost six months now. ‘Dzodzo’ remains at large and Ncaza is still in South Africa and there are reports that he might end up being extradited to give his testimony before the court as well.
Despite that the killing of Gamedze left a lot of emaSwati traumatized, they are currently footing the bill for the Ngubane’s meals and entertainment. Investigations by Independent News have unearthed that tax payers have paid over E50 000 for Ngubane’s meals eversince he came into Eswatini.
He came in the country in December 2020 and he is being treated in accordance with the Witness Protection Act of 2018. Section 8 (1) of the Act provides that: “Any witness who has a reason to believe that the safety of that witness or the safety of any related person is or may be threatened by any person or group of persons, whether known to the witness or not may; report such belief to the investigating officer in the proceedings concerned; any person in charge of the police station, if in prison to the person in charge of the prison where the witness is detained.” Section 9 of the Act outlines the period a witness can be placed under protection.
So wherever Ngubane is, there is a high level of security around him. Ngubane is being kept in a very safe and private place no one can easily reach to him, which means wherever he might need to be he had to be fully protected. That is adding on expenses for the state including fuels and meals at all cost.
Independent News is aware of the place where Ngubane currently resides under tight security provided by police. It has also been established that Ngubane’s meals are supplied by a catering company which also known to this publication, but could not be divulged for security reasons. The catering company is contracted to government.
The state is spending about E350 per day (breakfast, lunch and supper) and Ngubane has been in the country for over 160 days and that makes over E55 000. The catering company confirmed to this publication that it is contracted to the police, but didn’t want to say anything regarding Ngubane.”We are providing a service to government (police) and we are not allowed to single out the people we supply with food,” said the source.
Ngubane was once spotted at Sibebe Resort in an outing where he was having a good time of his life, as he was having himself escorted by some security forces members which obviously mean the state was also covering that.
The temporary protection of Ngubane will take forever as this case is similarly far from over and yet Ngubane is having a good time at the expenses of the state.
The DPP, last year, told the court that Ngubane and Nkosi were ready to give their much-awaited evidence. Shongwe accused the Crown of giving Ngubane and Nkosi an incentive to give false evidence to implicate him in the murder of Gamedze.
If Ngubane was allowed to testify using the AVL it was going to be so easy because everything was going to happen virtual, there wasn’t be a need of him being protected by the local forces as it happening now, the state of the Kingdom of Eswatini was not going to have to spend the amount they already spent during the period of the ongoing case of Sipho Shongwe.