Mbabane: On Monday, January 13, 2019, emaSwati learnt of the shocking death of the erstwhile Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-Sikelela Dlamini who was found hanging within his homestead located at Njojane, Hlane, in the Lubombo region, about 70 kilometres from Manzini. According to his relatives, Dlamini, a member of the royal family’s body was found hanging from the rafters of a structure known as lisango (where men, both old and young, share life skills and the young are socialized for a proper upbringing). Strong accusations and counteraccusations about a suspected foul play into his death overwhelmed the royal family, but a police investigation into that purportedly dispelled those perceptions.
Estate not yet wound up
And it might be about 18 months now after his demise, Independent News has reliably learnt that the prince’s estate has not yet been wound up due to squabbles that erupted within the family. There are allegations that the quarrels among the royal family has resulted in the prince’s estate being looted and other other members of the family being accused of estate fraud, something which occurs when a person utilizes illegal means in order to gain access to another person’s estate. Inconclusive information reaching Independent News is to the effect that the allegedly looted movable properties is estimated to be worth over E400 000 (US$29 411.76) which belonged. Those close to the matter allege that the plundering of the assets belonging to the estate started shortly after the prince was laid to rest.
This publication has reliably learnt that most of the movable properties which were reportedly looted were those which were at his home, at Njojane, where he was staying with his third official wife, Sithembile Masina. The prince had two other wives Inkhosikati LaJele who had a home at Engabezweni and Inkhosikati LaNcuku who reportedly stays at Buka, Ezulwini.
The beleaguered LaMasina told Independent News that of the alleged looted assets include a stock of pigs from a piggery project worth about E250 000, two cars (VW Tauran and a VW Polo) worth over E200 000 (US$ 11 764), am undisclosed number of goats, batteries for solar lighting system, television sets and other items including tyres to mention a few. The prince also owned a Chevrolet Bakkie and Mitsubishi mini-truck. The bakkie and the mini-truck are still available and parked at the prince’s home. Both the cars were seen by this publication.
LaMasina alleges looted properties not in estate file
Inkosikati LaMasina went on say all of the listed properties went missing and they were not even registered at the Master of the High Court in Mbabane, adding that the last time she checked, there was nothing in the estate file.
During a visit by this publication to the Master’s Office in Mbabane last week, an officer, who asked not to be named for fear of victimization, said that, in as much as he cannot give us access to the file, but it was true that the estate has not been wound up but declined to comment on its contents in detail. Narrating how she lost everything, Inkhosikati LaMasina told this publication that after her husband passed on, she was told by members of the royal family customarily known as Emalangeni to go and stay at her parental home at Mahlanya for a month, while police were still investigating her husband’s mysterious death, adding that she was suspected to have had a hand in the killing of Prince Sikelela, but was exonerated by a police investigation.
She went on to claim that Emalangeni told her and the family members that after the lapse of the month, a messenger (lincusa) would be sent to recall her back to her matrimonial home, but amazingly, no one came to do as per the promise, numerous months later, until her family (the Masinas) decided to convene a meeting with some members of the royal family which didn’t materialize.
Inkhosikati LaMasina added that her family made a follow-up with one of the senior princes, (name withheld because he could not be reached for comment) who was tasked to deal with the matter, who allegedly allowed her back to her marital home at Njojane.
Over E250 000 piggery project ransacked
According to Inkhosikati LaMasina, about a month ago, upon arrival at her home, she was surprised to find that her piggery project was ransacked including the main house where batteries for the solar lighting system were taken away.
This publication has established that during LaMasina’s absence, one of the deceased prince’s sons, Mphumuzi was the one who was tasked by Emalangeni to look after the homestead. This is not to suggest that Mphumuzi was at the centre stage of the looted assets as alleged by Inkhosikati LaMasina. She told Independent News that she was also told by her informants that Mphumuzi hosted parties with his friends at the home.
LaMasina was sent packing – Mphumuzi responds
Narrating his side of the story Mphumuzi Dlamini told Independent News he has a right of staying at his father’s home as he was instructed by the family because LaMasina was sent packing by Emalangeni shortly after the demise of his father, more so because it was strongly suspected that she was responsible for the prince’s death. Responding to the reports that Inkhosikati LaMasina is now back at her matrimonial home at Hlane, he said: “She is back at that home at Njojane at her own accord and nobody among Emalangeni allowed or recalled her back.” Mphumuzi said during his stay at Njojane, there is nothing that belong to the estate which he knows. “I took nothing from that home and I can only admit that I hosted parties because that is my father’s home and there is nothing wrong with that,” he said. Regarding the allegation that he had a hand on the disappearing of the stock of pigs, he refuted those accusations saying no one took them but they died of hunger.
On the issue of the missing cars, Mphumuzi also denied knowledge of them, but mentioned that those who developed mechanical faults and broke down was because they were used to perform home chores.
Piggery project not part of estate?
Another thorn on the flesh of Inkhosikati LaMasina is that the piggery project was personally hers and were not registered under the name of Prince Sikelela, therefore don’t form part of the estate. Documents seen by this publication show that five breeding stock of the pigs were bought by Inkhosikati LaMasina. She said that it is one of her biggest outcries as she was raising the pigs as her source of income as she is not employed anywhere.
Nothing in the estate file
Masina explained that she has been visiting Master of the High Court in Mbabane where she was shocked to find that apparently there was nothing to claim as there was nothing submitted by the appointed Executor, Lomkhosi Dlamini who happens to be the late Dlamini’s daughter who was born out of wedlock.
Independent News has established that Lomkhosi was appointed alongside Bongani Dlamini as executors but apparently Bongani reportedly lost interest in the estate for unknown reasons.
Executor Lomkhosi declines to comment
Lomkhosi declined to entertain questions from this publication, adding that she cannot talk about Prince Sikelela’s estate because it is now being haddled by the Master of The High Court. She said questions regarding the prince’s estate should be directed to The Registrar of The High Court, Siphiwo Masuku. Efforts to get Masuku hit a snag as her phone was unavailable from the MTN Network on Wednesday at the time of compiling this report.
Against this backdrop, Inkhosikati LaMasina revealed that in a meeting with the Deputy Master of the High on Friday, June 5, it was resolved that Lomkhosi should provide a comprehensive report on the estate by the end of June because when asked about some of the whereabouts of some properties Lomkhosi, she could not give clear answers pertaining the estate.
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