MBABANE: Thabani Nkomonye who was reported missing by the police was allegedly killed by the same police and dumped at Nhlambeni at or near Happy Valley Bus stop.
An independent investigation by this Swaziland News uncovered that Thabani Nkomonye was allegedly shot and killed by traffic police officers on Saturday 08 May 2021 around 2100hrs at Nhlambeni along the Manzini- Nhlangano road, his car was then towed by the police and hidden at Sigodvweni Police Station on the same night while the body was dumped at or near the Happy Valley bus stop.
On or around 11th May 2021, the police published a notice inviting members of the public to assist with information to locate Thabani Nkomonye(25) of Ka-Shali, Manzini, at the time, his car a Madza registered VSD 584 AS was already hidden at Sigodvweni police station with bullet holes and one tyre missing.
Reached for comments by this Swaziland News, Thabani’s uncle Sakhile Dlamini who was speaking on behalf of the family said they were shocked to learn that police went as far as inviting members of the public to assist with information to locate their son and the car that was hidden at Sigodvweni Police Station.
“We were shocked after discovering that the car was towed and hidden at Sigodvweni Police Station on Saturday night and when you look at the date and time when the statement was recorded, it shows he was killed on that night and dumped at Nhlambeni. How can the police invite the public to assist in locating Thabani and the car that was at Sigodvweni Police Station with bullet holes and to make matters worse they claimed to have searched for the body and didn’t find him. But when we conducted our own search, we found the body of our son dumped at Nhlambeni almost in a decomposed state. We are at pain on what befell us, all along we have been thinking police were people we can run to for help but now we have first hand information of what they did to us”, he said.
Dlamini spoke exclusively to this publication about what police did to their son on Thursday evening,more details of the recorded interview will be aired on the Swaziland News audio channel's current affairs programme on Friday morning.
A questionnaire was sent to Phindile Vilakati, the Police Spokesperson, however, she had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
The police communications office published a notice on Wednesday asking members of the public to assist with information to locate the whereabouts of Thabani, another notice written “located” was published on Thursday.
“Anyone who may have information about his whereabouts can contact Manzini RCBO Mr Thabo Hlophe 76053042, Acting Desk Officer Vuma Mngometulu at 76076541 or investigating officer Thobile Kunene at 7635 0301, alternatively dial 999/9999” ,read the notice published by the police.
Reached for comments, Sibusiso Nhlabatsi, a human rights lawyer said it was now becoming common for police to kill citizens with impunity and later cover their tracks by claiming to be investigating.
“In this case where a life has been lost, the family must approach the Human Rights Commission to investigate as to what actually happened because police cannot investigate themselves", he said.
Speaking to this publication, Thabile Nkomonye, a sister to the deceased said police made them to search for a car that was in their possession adding that on Tuesday the police first lied to them that their investigations uncovered that the car crossed the Mahamba border driven by an Indian When in fact it was hidden at the Sigodvweni Police Station.
“They made us search for a car that was in their possession, the car has bullet holes with no blood yet my brother’s body has blood. We have been searching until we received a tip-off on where the car and the body was actually hidden, police later became arrogant towards us when we questioned why the car was discovered in their possession” she said.
Family members inspecting Thabani Nkomonye car at Sigodvweni Police Station