At least 10 police officers were caught torturing a suspect at Mbabane police station in the capital city of Swaziland.
A visitor to the police station heard a man crying and screaming for help.
Hunter Shongwe told the Swazi News, an independent newspaper in Swaziland, that he made an audio recording of the torture and he thought the police were ‘killing the suspect’.
The Swazi News reports Shongwe saying, ‘My heart bled when I heard a male crying and screaming for help. You would have thought someone was slaughtering a goat. I could not understand how an individual could be tortured in such a way inside a police station where people visit to report criminal cases.’
He went on, ‘Upon hearing the sound my immediate reaction was to rush to the room where the sound came from. My intention was to rescue that particular individual. I kicked the door open and tried to force my way inside the room but was overpowered by the officers.
‘However I was able to see that there were over 10 officers inside the room but I could not identify the suspect.’
The newspaper reported that the audio recording included sounds of someone screaming which got worse.
Part of the transcript of the recording went as follows:
Shongwe: There is a sound of someone crying of torture inside there.
Officers: Sit down Shongwe.
Shongwe: I cannot sit down when I can hear that someone is being killed inside your offices.
Officers: Shongwe, you are not allowed to come in here.
Shongwe: I am going to rescue that individual. Didn’t you hear the screams?
Officers: We are attending to the matter, Shongwe, go back. (Huge bang on the door is heard)
Shongwe: I need to speak to the station commander. Please call him for me.
Officers: Come this side Shongwe and let’s talk.
Shongwe: I do not want to talk to anyone of you except the station commander. I am also recording everything that is being said in this building. Call the station commander, I cannot allow this to happen to another human being, especially as it is being done by police officers.
Officers: Calm down Shongwe.
Shongwe: Call the station commander, please, because I want to ask him whether he is aware of what is happening at the station.
Officer: The station commander is not around.
Shongwe: Let’s call him from his cell phone. I need to speak to him. I am not happy about what is happening in that room. Police have been accused of assault before and as we speak there are a number of cases that paint a bad image of the police. We have a case involving Jele and with such torture what would one believe happened to Jele?