Gabriel Mkhumane

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Gabriel Mkhumane (died April 1, 2008) was a Swazi physician and opposition leader. He was the deputy president of the People's United Democratic Movement (Pudemo), Swaziland's main opposition party.[1]

Once working as a physician at Themba Hospital in Nelspruit, Mkhumane was in self-imposed exile, having left Swaziland in 1984[2] to live in Maputo, then in Cuba, where he received his medical training and lived for 15 years.[2] According to the Swaziland Solidarity Network, he provided the impoverished with free medical services.[2] To be nearer to his home country, Mkhumane settled in South Africa in 2000.[1][2] He was married to Soraida and had two sons, Lizwi and Lizo (three weeks old at the time of his father's death).[2] Despite his exile, he had been active in Pudemo-related activities such as marketing the Kingdom as an oppressive regime which hates democracy.[3]

Mkhumane was murdered on April 1, 2008, in Nelspruit, after attending a meeting to discuss blocking goods travelling to Swaziland.[1] The annual blockade was to be held on April 12, the anniversary of when King Sobhuza II outlawed all political parties.[1] It was since called off due to Mkhumane's death.[1] He was gunned down in an ambush on his car and his killers quickly left after the crime.[3] The official version of his murder is that he was killed in a random act of villainy, although some Pudemo supporters disagree, including its president, Mario Masuku.[1] They claim Mkhumane was murdered by the Swazi government, pointing to the fact that Swazi police told his mother that he would come home "wrapped in a black bag" hours before his death was reported.[1] His family members also claimed he began fearing for his life shortly before his death.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Nxumalo, Donny (2008-04-24). "Who killed Pudemo leader?". Mail and Guardian. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Murder will not go unpunished". Swaziland Solidarity Network. 2008-04-02. 
  3. ^ a b Nxumalo, Donny (2008-04-03). "PUDEMO Chief shot dead". The Swazi Observer. 
  4. ^ Msomi, S’Thembiso. "Why no outcry over Swaziland?". The Times of Zimbabwe. Retrieved 2008-07-30. [permanent dead link]