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Liswati in VBS scandal wants out after 5 years in SA prison

By Khulile Thwala

Thabo Sibandze, an Eswatini national, says he wants a fair trial after being kept in prison for five years with several postponements.

Sibandze was initially arrested for intimidation on March 1, 2019, after some Vhembe District Municipality (VDM) South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) members and councillors received intimidating calls. VDM is in Limpopo, South Africa.

He was also charged under the Immigration Act as he did not possess the necessary documents to be in SA legally. According to Polokwane Observer, chaos erupted in the Sibasa Regional Court during the appearance of Sibandze (32), who is facing a case of intimidating Vhembe District Municipality (VDM) employees, who are said to be whistleblowers.

The employees are members of SAMWU and were vocal against the district’s unlawful E300 million investments in the now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank.

Sibandze appeared in court this February without his co-accused, the Radzuma brothers (Ndivhuwo, Simon, and Percy), who are synonymous with the VBS scandal.

The Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court acquitted Sibandze of the murder of two slain SAMWU members Timpson Musetsho (50) and Ronald Mani (50) in October last year.

Speaking in court, Sibandze said: “My case is taking too long, I want a fair trial to start now. It has been almost five years and I’m kept in prison without trial. It is unfair for me because my case is being postponed time and time again.”

His case was again postponed, this time to March 13 for him to secure legal representation.

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