SITEKI: Members of the Royal Eswatini Police Services (REPS) have allegedly invaded the Good Shepherd Hospital’s morgue searching for the bodies of protesters who were shot during the pro-democracy protests.
Mayibongwe Masangane, the Secretary General of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) confirmed the matter adding that it was ethically wrong for the police to get access to the bodies of the victims without their relatives.
“This matter has reached our attention, it is ethically wrong for the police to view bodies without involving the affected family members, we have also received reports that they also invaded the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial (RFM) Hospital grabbing bullets from injured victims. Even here, it shows that they are still pushing their agenda of concealing evidence. Nurses are also advocates for justice, it is also wrong for government and the police to intimidate them since those who died in the hands of police also need justice”, said the SWADNU Secretary General.
According to a source close to the matter, yesterday (Friday) evening, a group of police officers got access to the hospital’s morgue with the intention of examining the bodies of the victims of the recent protests.
“What made us suspicious is that the police came alone without the family members of the victims, we suspect that they are trying to conceal evidence. We were warned not to leak this information since it’s a top secret”, said the source.
Brian Sangweni, the Spokesperson of the Peoples United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) said government was trying to conceal evidence since they claimed that the people were killed by foreign mercenaries.
“We know that government will try by all means to conceal evidence from the international community and concerned human rights bodies. Amnesty International has deployed pathologists with the intention of taking the evidence to the International Criminal Court (ICC), so government is trying by all means to avoid that”, he said.
Questions were sent to Phindile Vilakati, the eSwatini Police Spokesperson, however, she had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
When reached for comments, Zwelakhe Moahloli, the Communications Officer of Good Shepherd Hospital said he was not aware of the matter.
“I’m not aware of this matter, but under normal circumstances an autopsy is done in the presence of relatives. I cannot reveal any details regarding our clients since as a hospital we are guided by ethics”, he said.
Eswatini is in the midst of a political crisis after King Mswati unleashed his army on unarmed citizens who were protesting in demand of democratic reforms. Dozens of people were killed with over 200 hospitalised for gunshot wounds, hundreds are still missing.