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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

KING’S PAPER ON POLICE BRUTALITY

The Swaziland newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III has accused the king’s police force of ‘brutality’.


The Swazi Observer reported the police shot a suspect six times even though he was handcuffed.


Ndumiso Ngandla Simelane may lose a leg as a result of the atrocity.


The Observer reported, ‘police brutality was at play when a 34-year old handcuffed housebreaking suspect was shot six times’.


The Observer says that Simelane was trying to escape from ‘a trigger-happy police officer’ when he was shot because he feared being tortured by them.


In an interview with the newspaper Simelane said ‘police officers locked him in an office (handcuffed) and displayed “tools” they use (torture) when they want to extract the truth from a stubborn suspect.


‘“It was just after 11am when the police officers came at my workshop and handcuffed me. They also ransacked my business where they took some items such as cell phones that were brought for repairs by my clients. I tried to reason with them that I was not aware of the offence they claimed I was linked to. They never wanted to listen and kept on telling me that I was on their wanted list.”


He told the Observer that the police said he should be ready to cooperate if he still wanted to see the next day.


The newspaper reported, ‘He said he was shown, among other things, a gigantic plastic bag, a rope as well as a tube which the police said were “tools” to be used in making him cooperate.'


Simelane said he was then left in one of the offices at the police post where one of the officers told him they were going out for lunch.


‘“This was the last straw. As they left me alone in the office I managed to sneak out still handcuffed. I could not bear the thought of being tortured. I felt the safest option was to flee,” said Simelane.


‘Simelane said having been warned what would happen to him; he decided to come out of the building where he had been left handcuffed.


‘“I decided to come out of the building and it was while I was outside the gate when the two police officers were alerted by other women seated at the verandah. They apprehended me just by the gate. I heard the sound of the gun and fell to the ground,” said Simelane.


‘“Still with my hands handcuffed on the back, I picked myself from the ground and pleaded for their mercy. It was not given as one of them pulled out his revolver and started shooting. I was shot six times as you can see,” he added, pointing to the gunshot wounds on both legs.


‘He said he was then rushed to the Hlatikulu Government Hospital. He said given the serious injuries he sustained as a result of the bullets, chances were that he may be crippled for the rest of his life.’


This is not the first case where police in Swaziland have been trigger happy. To read more click here.

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