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HLUTI – It was initially announced that the late Simhle Fakudze would be buried this morning, however, that all changed.

The late Simhle Fakudze, who was a member of political party Swazis First Democratic Front (SFDF) was buried yesterday evening. Fakudze who was a police recruit at the time of her death was set to be buried this morning at kaBhejisa in Hlatikhulu after a night vigil yesterday. Despite the announcement Fakudze was laid to rest after a service that started soon as her body arrived around 5pm having been escorted by the police.

It is worth noting that there was tight security at the funeral, as over 20 police officers were stationed at the main station at KaBhejisa. Every car that was headed towards the direction of Fakudze’s homestead was searched and occupants questioned on where they were headed to. It was noted that mostly the youth were questioned by the police officers. It was gathered that they were questioning even kombi drivers from both Nhlangano and Hluti direction, if there was a group of people who dropped  off along the way wearing any political party merchandise.


There were in fact more police officers on the ground at the Fakudze homestead and most of them were armed. Upon arrival at the homestead, there was a short service, where close relatives made speeches. One of the family members who spoke during the service said they were saddened by the demise of Fakudze who they looked up to. He said even if there would be disagreements (bugudlugudlu) the family was supposed to look unto Jesus as a source of their strength.

One of the speakers shared that on the day Fakudze died, they had a conversation, wherein she requested that she start making arrangements of availing herself for her police celebratory pass out as she wanted her relative present, but she was sad that she was now attending her funeral instead. After the speeches, Fakudze’s casket was loaded into the hearse  and  proceeded to the graveyard. It was already  getting dark after 6pm  and people were using their flashlight as they walked to the graveyard.

At the graveyard, police handled the funeral proceedings and as the casket was lowered, one member of the Operational Support Servies Unit (OSSU) blew a trumpet. There was no gun salute at the funeral. It was gathered from one family member that police allegedly gave the family an ultimatum to let them bury the deceased or allow political parties to be present. The family member shared that it was then that they made the decision to proceed with the funeral a day before originally scheduled. “The family is also counting on getting benefits from government, which they were not going to get in the event they allowed political parties to be present,” he said. After the funeral, which lasted for an hour, people quietly  left.


It was gathered that People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) Shiselweni Regional Chairperson Norman Xaba was among those who were turned back at the main station. Xaba alleged that police were hurling derogatory words towards him; telling him to leave the area. “Police took my cap and told me not to pass as I was headed to the funeral. They detained me for two hours,” he alleged.  It was gathered that the police allegedly got physical and started pushing him around .

Xaba further alleged that  he was with other people who were also followed and had their phones taken away  from them. It was alleged that the phones were taken to Hluti Police Station, where they were allegedly formatted before being  handed back to them. It was also gathered that one of the PUDEMO members was allegedly detained at the police station until after the funeral whereby he was then released.