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MBABANE – Seemingly, Lawyer Sicelo Mngomezulu had a change of heart and repaid the government study loan.

Apparently, the lawyer, who is mostly known for being part of the legal team that represents the two incarcerated Members of Parliament (MPs), Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza of Hosea and Mthandeni Dube of Ngwempisi, repaid the study loan this week. His debt was slightly over E132 000.
Mngomezulu’s debt became public knowledge after the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), Themba Masuku, on Wednesday March 22, 2023, during the Deputy Prime Minister’s (DPM) Office annual budget and 2023/2024 budget debate, told senators that the person who was behind the disruption of the civic voter education exercise (at KaLiba in Hosea) was the very same person who slaughtered cows for maidens who did not attend the Umhlanga Reed Dance Ceremony last year August.


The DPM told the senators that the person also owed around E132 000 in study loans. He did not mention any names in Senate. But in an interview with this publication, Masuku confirmed that he was referring to Mngomezulu and he had proof that he had not repaid a single cent of the scholarship loan. Mngomezulu graduated at the University of Swaziland (UNISWA), now known as the University of Eswatini (UNESWA), in 2004 with an LLB Degree, where he was funded by government. The lawyer did not deny that he had not repaid the study loan, during an interview at the time. At first, he pointed out that he tried several times to repay the study loan but he was unsuccessful since no one from government responded to him.

He also placed an ultimatum to government regarding his payment, which was that he would not pay the money unless government lifted the ban on him regarding entering the kingdom. On April 2, 2023, the scholarship consortium, through the Project Coordinator, Gugu Simelane, communicated that they contacted Mngomezulu and later sent a statement of his balance and payment platforms that he could utilise. In an interview with this publication at the time, Mngomezulu said unless government lifted the illegal and immoral ban on him, he would not repay the loan. Adding, he said the ban should be first lifted then he should be furnished with an invoice and he would repay the E132 000 within two minutes.

Worth noting is that government moved an application at the High Court to have him declared an undesirable and prohibited immigrant. In the matter that is still pending in court, Mngomezulu, who resides in the Republic of South Africa, filed his papers, where he denied to have encouraged anyone to boycott the Umhlanga Reed Dance Ceremony. The move to ban him was made after he was accused of having promised maidens from Hosea Constituency, who would not attend the annual Reed Dance Ceremony last year, a cow. However, yesterday afternoon, Mngomezulu was reported to have repaid the E132 000 he owed in full.

Efforts to get Mngomezulu were futile as he had not responded to questions that were sent via WhatsApp and phone calls at the time this report was compiled. The text message was sent at 3:34pm, which was followed by countless phone calls. The last voice call was made at 6:52pm, but he had not responded to it at the time of compiling this report.


He was asked to share why he had a sudden change of heart regarding the repayment of the study loan after he had stated that he would not do so until the ban on him was lifted. Minister of Labour and Social Security Phila Buthelezi confirmed that Mngomezulu indeed repaid his study loan.
“I’ve just received a phone call from SVNet, informing me that Mngomezulu has repaid his study loan in full,” he said.

The minister lauded the lawyer for doing the right thing. When he was asked if they had taken extra steps of ensuring that the loan was repaid, the minister said as far as he knew, Mngomezulu was contacted last week and they were awaiting his responses like any other beneficiary.
The minister last week had stated that if Mngomezulu continued with giving them a run around, extra steps would be taken against him by SVNet, as per their work procedure.He clarified, however, that those steps had not been taken against him. The minister said Mngomezulu’s change of heart should be a lesson to many people who still owed the government study loan to repay it, more especially those outside of the country’s borders.


“As I had mentioned before that the loan could pay for three students in local institutions, therefore, by him repaying, more students will benefit from the government study loan,” he said. Meanwhile, the DPM also lauded Mngoemzulu for finally repaying the loan. He said he noted that looking at the number of years that he stayed without repaying the loan, he should have paid it in full but they were fine with the E132 000. “In as much as he delayed some students who could have benefited, we are grateful because still there are deserving students who will receive the scholarship,” he said. He said following the noble gesture and sudden change of heart, they were hopeful that Mngomzulu would assist government and mobilise some of the government study loan beneficiaries, who were in diaspora and South Africa, repay their study loans.