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Lobamba MP’s bail application opposed

By Bahle Gama

Lobamba MP Allen Stewart’s bail application has been opposed by the crown. Stewart appeared at the High Court before Judge Zonke Magagula after his attorney had put in an urgent bail application pending appeal, where the crown opposed the application and the court ordered that a replying affidavit be submitted.

All parties will return on Thursday for arguments. On January 31, Stewart was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison without the option of a fine for the attempted murder of Sibusiso Matsenjwa on October 31, 2010, at Moyeni, Siteki.

Post the funeral of his brother John on the day in question, Stewart reportedly shot Matsenjwa in the arm. They were reportedly having refreshments at the Stewart homestead when the shooting happened, and at the time, Matsenjwa’s sister was said to have been in a love relationship with John having lived as a couple for years and that they had children.

On August 7, 2017, during the trial, it was presented as evidence that the Matsenjwa family wanted Gugu to be traditionally wedded to John posthumously in terms of the Eswatini custom, for her to mourn him as a wife.

It was reported that the family made attempts to have talks, but the Stewart family refused. The complainant told the court that whilst queuing for food shortly after John had been buried, he started to converse with the MP’s relatives and inquired why the family wanted to remove certain property from John and Gugu’s home before his burial.

He reportedly told the court that the conversation was not cordial as they had different views on the matter, at the time Stewart was leaning against the wall of a house when he decided to interrupt their conversation.

He (Stewart) told the relative to leave him with Matsenjwa as he proceeded to take off his jacket, lifted his shirt and produced a firearm, to which and when he attempted to run, he heard a gunshot.

Stewart is said to have chased after Matsenjwa whilst firing shots several times and he fell twice whilst being assisted by his brother Mandla. The third time Matsenjwa fell was when Stewart caught up with him and pointed the gun at him, no bullets or shots were fired.

He realised he had been shot in the arm when he was running and was unaware when that had happened but was content it had been when Stewart kept on firing shots. He was then rushed to Good Shepherd Hospital where he was reportedly admitted for a week.

Stewart and his attorney are expected to return to court on February 16 for arguments.

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