Mbabane: Former Minister of Public Works and Transport, Ntuthuko Dlamini has been released on bail of E50 000.
The judgement was announced on Wednesday, by the High Court Principal Judge, Qinisile Mabuza who heard the murder accused bail application.
Dlamini is awaiting trial which is set to kick-off towards the end of next April.
According to the court papers, Dlamini was to pay his E50 000 bail in form of E10 000 cash and the E40 000 being surety. His bail conditions were that he will have to report to Mbabane Police Station once a week. He was also ordered not to interfere with any witnesses and not to set foot at his home, at Lamgabhi.
Dlamini was released to his brother’s custody whom he will be staying with at an undisclosed location. According to his lawyer, Noncedo Ndlangamandla, this was meant ensure his safety.
Prior to his release, the Crown had opposed Dlamini’s application out of concern for his safety. The prosecution had told the court that the situation at Mhlabubovu was volatile and the accused person could be easily eliminated by the people seeking revenge since murder-for-hire incidents were rife in the area due to its close proximity with the boarder-line separating the country with South Africa.
The defence, on the other hand had argued that it understood there was a lot of public interest in Dlamini’s matter and indicated that an arrangement had been made for him to go to a secret hide-out. Hence Dlamini was released on Wednesday.
Dlamini is facing two charges of murder, attempted murder and violating the Arms and Ammunition Act. He was arrested on September 9, 2020 and he has been on custody since then.
The former legislature allegedly shot and killed former police officer identified as Sikhulu Shongwe and resident Andreas Tsabedze in cold blood at Mhlabubovu. All this took place at Mhlabubovu Traffic Circle during a squabble emanating from a potential land dispute in the area.