Swaziland soldiers have murdered two civilians in an execution style killing. One woman begged for her life saying she was a mother to a young baby.
The soldiers made the pair knell down and pray and perform push-ups before making them run away and shooting them dead in cold blood.
Details of the murder were revealed this week after accounts of the killings appeared in the Weekend Observer.
Suspicions had previously been aroused that soldiers had killed in cold blood two people accused of trying to smuggle a stolen Toyota Quantum vehicle into Swaziland from South Africa, but the details published are truly shocking, even by Swaziland standards where the army and police are generally recognised to be out of control.
The Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, reported that two people were spotted by the army in the stolen Toyota and were forced to stop after soldiers opened fire on the vehicle.
The two occupants ran from the vehicle into long grass.
The Observer reports that as the two escaped they dropped a cellphone which was picked by one of the soldiers.
The two had been using the cellphone to call for backup. Later two other people arrived in a Mazda 3 sedan. This car was driven by a woman, Lucia Dlamini, who, as she approached the ‘rendezvous’, called on her cellphone but her message was received by a soldier who told her to come closer because ‘ they were in trouble’.
Lucia followed instructions which led her car to pass through an army camp hidden in the bushes a short distance away.
‘By then the army personnel had taken positions,’ the Observer reports.
Other soldiers followed Lucia’s car while others were scouring the area for movement in case the two thieves emerged from the vast tall grasses.
After nearly three hours of no action, Lucia’s car emerged past the army camp and at the same time the two thieves stood up from the tall grass in relief that their back-up had finally arrived.
The Observer reports that residents say at first there were warning shots and the two thieves stood with raised hands.
‘But then immediately after that it was bullet to flesh. The two fell but shots continued to ring.
At about the same time Lucia’s car was sandwiched by two army vehicles, says the Observer.
‘About less than a kilomtre from the army camp Lucia’s car was ordered out of the narrow road and drove along the narrow stream. Some residents say by that time almost the entire community was watching.
‘Residents claim that the two were first ordered out of the car and to pray. Lucia was heard begging the soldiers to spare her life because she had a young baby but it all fell on deaf ears.’
The residents also say that before the woman and an accomplice were riddled by bullets they were ordered to do press ups several times.
‘They were then told to flee into the tall grasses and then shot. It was a perfect kill,’ the Observer reports.