MBABANE: King Mswati’s son Prince Sicalo wants to retired Magistrate Mandla Mkhaliphi to explain if he was in possession of a mining license that allows him to mine mineral resources including quarry in his Farm.
Speaking to this journalist on Tuesday evening shortly after this Swaziland News published an investigative story that exposed how he deployed soldiers at the private Farm, the influential Prince expressed concerns that Mkhaliphi was mining without a license.
“Did you ask him if he was mining legally or illegally” asked the Prince.
This Swaziland News reported on Tuesday that Prince Sicalo allegedly deployed soldiers at Portion 3, Farm 982 at Sicunusa as he intensifies moves to forcefully grab the property from its owner Mandla Mkhaliphi and mine a quarry that was discovered within the farm.
The deployment of the soldiers comes after the Prince through his company Liyabuya Lemaswati(PTY) LTD demanded about E10million from NDI(PTY)LTD, a company owned by retired Nhlangano Magistrate Mandla Mkhaliphi that had secured a contract to supply quarry to Kukhanya Construction during the construction of the now controversial Nhlangano-Scunusa road whose investigation by the Public Accounts Committee(PAC) was allegedly stopped by the King, the Prince through his company was a 15% shareholder at NDI.
On another note, Mandla Mkhaliphi told this Swaziland News that he was waiting for the Ministry of Natural Resources to renew his mining license, he said he doesn\'t understand why suddenly it has become an issue as all mining companies were allowed to operate while waiting for the renewal.
Reached for comments earlier by this Swaziland News, Lieutenant General Jeffrey Shabalala, the Army Commander said the Ministry of Natural Resources was better positioned to comment on the matter regarding the deployment of soldiers into the Farm.
“I don’t have any comment, it is the Ministry of Natural Resources that should give a comment in this matter”,said the Army Commander.
But Peter Bhembe, the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy when reached for comments by this publication said as the matter involves a private farm, the Ministry of Defense that deployed soldiers and Mandla Mkhaliphi being the owner must give a comment not the Ministry of Natural Resources.
\"This being a private farm, the said Mandla Mkhaliphi and the Ministry of Defence can give a comment as opposed to our Ministry\",said the Natural Resources Minister.