27 June 2011
Musa Ngubeni, along with Maxwell Dlamini, was arrested in April 2011 and charged with explosives offences. The pair have been in jail, denied bail, ever since. The pair are student leaders. In this statement, the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) gives some background information on Musa Ngubeni.
Our Comrades in Mswati’s jails
Who is Musa Ngubeni?
Born about 28 years ago in Swaziland, Musa Emmanuel Ngubeni (simply known among his peers and Comrades as “Ngubeni”) rose to become the Chairperson of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at the University of Swaziland (UNISWA) in the 2008/2009 Academic year. Today, the students of UNISWA still hail him as one their best leaders.
Comrade Ngubeni’s life has never been a smooth one. A few years before he was elected Chairperson, he had to bear the pain of losing a brother, Mathousand Ngubeni, to the brutal hands of the Mswati regime’s police. The police had claimed that Mathousand had not cooperated in the interrogation room in an investigation. That sad moment seems to have been a major turning point for Comrade Ngubeni in as far as the radical approach to the People’s Struggle is concerned. Nevertheless, he had to keep his discipline to ensure that his being a member of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) is not exposed. Later, through public pressure, the Swaziland government instituted an inquiry into Mathousand’s death. However, the report on the inquiry has never been released to the public and the Swaziland media does not seem interested in knowing about it.
Another sad incident worth mentioning here is the brutal assault and torture of Comrade Ngubeni by the police in January 2008, in Matsapha. This was the year when UNISWA students had protested for about five months against the UNISWA administration which had been trying to implement a poorly planned semesterization programme, after the administration had misused funds meant for the semesterization programme. At the time, Comrade Mabuza Mancoba was the Students’ Chairperson. Comrade Ngubeni was brutally assaulted by the police, on the 18th of January, 2008, and, later that day, taken to the Matsapha police station, the same place where his elder brother, Mathousand, had been tortured and murdered by the police, and the torture and assault continued the whole day. The police would, as they assaulted him, tell him that he was going to meet his elder brother sooner since he had decided to follow in his footsteps by trying to “burn the country”.
Through his discipline, as groomed by PUDEMO, he never even at one point revealed where the Chairperson, Comrade Mabuza Mancoba, was when the police enquired. He never volunteered any information relating to him, even when the police pushed him for information. It was known that the police wanted to get the Chairperson so as to brutalize him as well, but through discipline, Ngubeni never at one point revealed any information relating to him, not even voluntarily so as to save his life. Instead he told them that they should kill him there and then because he had not committed any crime.
The police later told him that he had to appear in court for public violence after he had allegedly thrown a stone at a police motor bike. However, at the trial in the Manzini Magistrate’s Court, the magistrate told him to go home and forget about the charges because the police had apparently lost the docket. The magistrate did not even question anything from the police about the “lost docket”, but only told Comrade Ngubeni to go home since he was then a free man. Suddenly the police docket had disappeared.
As stated above, he was elected Chairperson of the UNISWA SRC in the 2008/2009 Academic year. His great leadership skills have not been forgotten by the students. As Chairperson he also contributed immensely to the rejuvenation of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS), working hand in hand with Comrade Mabuza Mancoba (SNUS President at the time) in this regard. His focus was not just on the immediate demands of students, but also on solving the political crisis in Swaziland.
When he finished his LLB Degree at UNISWA (May 2010), he continued with his task of growing SNUS, selflessly dedicating his time for the task. He worked closely with the President of SNUS, Comrade Maxwell Dlamini, also a political prisoner since April 12, 2011.
The Youth and Students of Swaziland salute Comrade Ngubeni and call for the unconditional release of their Comrade and friend, together with all other political prisoners, who include;
1. Comrade Bheki Dlamini (SWAYOCO President)
2. Comrade Maxwell Dlamini (SNUS President)
3. Comrade Zonke Dlamini (member of PUDEMO)
4. Comrade Amos Mbendzi (member of the ANC, SACP, and an internationalist. Also former member of the uMkhonto weSizwe)
5. Many other Comrades who are still out on bail since the year 2005.
The above information about Comrade Ngubeni is only brief, but we hope that it will assist in getting to know more about our Comrades in Mswati’s jails.
Released by the SNUS.