14 April 2011
Innocent citizens detained, dumped in remote areas
INNOCENT citizens were caught up in the protest action fiasco on Tuesday as they found themselves among the unionists who were bungled into a truck and dumped kilometres away from Manzini.
Over 50 people were loaded onto a police truck on Tuesday afternoon and dumped around Sikhuphe without transport. This was a move by the police to dismantle the gathering. Others were blocked from leaving their respective towns to join the protest march on Tuesday and yesterday.
According to one of the ‘dumped’ victims, they were taken on a hell ride in a police truck after first being locked in it for about two hours. He said he had just gone to town to run a few personal errands when he got caught up in the fiasco.
The victim said after being locked up in the truck for a long time, it then moved and took the Siteki route but soon took another turn at Mbadlane. “It drove at a high speed and we fell back and forth at the back all the time until it stopped where we were dumped in an unfamiliar area,” he said.
He said it was a very traumatic experience since even after they were able to make their way back to the main road at Malindza, police found them and allegedly loaded them on to yet another truck.
He said they were eventually left at Bulunga, where they were ‘saved’ by transport organised by the unionists. The victim said they were found late in the evening at Bulunga.
Among the activists who were dumped together with innocent citizens were Swaziland Nurses Association (SNA) President Bheki Mamba and Sphasha Dlamini. Information gathered was that the protestors were not only dumped at Sikhuphe and Bulunga but others were dumped at Bhunya. Police PRO Superintendent Wendy Hleta referred all questions to the ministry of foreign affairs. Meanwhile, government has apologised to all innocent bystanders who were affected by the protest.