The following is a statement issued this evening (12 April 2011) by Mary Pais Da Silva, of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign, who was arrested this today while in the middle of a telephone call to a journalist at South Africa’s Eyewitness News on Talk Radio 702
12th April 2011
BEATEN, ARRESTED AND DETAINED, BUT NOT OUT!!
This below is a personal account of the treatment I received at the hands of police officers today:
1. Two male comrades and I were at the SFTU offices where we were sending out information to our international friends on the happenings of the protest action billed for today.
2. At roughly around 1230hrs, an army of male police barged into the offices and whilst I was in the middle of a telephonic, live interview with talk Radio 702 and headed directly to me and began punching and slapping me on my face.
3. There was SUDF material in the office and I was questioned about it, to which I pleaded ignorance. This did not go down well with them and the same police officer (the most heavyset of them all), then came and continued assaulting me.
4. This time around, he decided to punch me on the stomach because he then became aware of the damage he was doing to my face. Another officer then decided to assist him in my assault.
5. I was then bundled into a van with the other two comrades and taken to the Manzini Regional headquarters where we were detained for about two and a half hours. We were questioned individually.
6. During the whole process, I was being insulted with every vulgar word imaginable in the SiSwati language.
7. After the interrogation, I was strictly warned to desist from my activism and the Station Commander stated that they would do everything possible to find some incriminating evidence so that I can be arrested and imprisoned because I was proving to be a very painful thorn in their behinds.
8. I was also given a “friendly” warning that my safety cannot be guaranteed.
9. I was then released.
This is what I have to say:
I will not be intimidated by these bullish antics of the government. Bashing me only strengthens my resolve in the role that I play in the democratic movement in Swaziland.
THE GOVERNMENT OF SWAZILAND MUST GO TO HELL AND ON THE WAY THERE, THEY MUST KISS MY BEAUTIFUL BEHIND!!!!
TALK RADIO 720 BULLETIN 1pm