MBABANE: Sabelo Masuku, the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission in eSwatini has written a letter to TR Maseko Attorneys, the lawyers representing Swaziland News editor Zweli Martin Dlamini informing them that the alleged police torture on the journalist was under investigation.
This comes after the editor was allegedly tortured and suffocated by the police for writing critical articles about King Mswati in February this year, he had previously received threatening messages from the King’s daughter Minister Princess Skhanyiso.
“Kindly take notice that the complaint has been admitted and allocated to one of our investigators who is already in the process of carrying out investigations” read the letter in part.
In February 2020, the editor told SABC, a South African TV station that the police raided his home, seized computers and other electronic gadgets, they told him they were investigating a case of sedition. He said he was then taken to the Mbabane police station where he was suffocated with a plastic by about twenty police officers and had to seek medical treatment in South Africa. It is regarded as a crime in Eswatini to criticize King Mswati and the National Commissioner of Police William Dlamini previously warned independent journalists during a press conference that the police would deal with them if they continue criticizing the King.
Reached for comments, the editor welcomed the investigations adding that he hoped it would be independent.
”We welcome the investigations and hoped the process will be independent. However, I had instructed the lawyers to write to the Justice Minister warning her against interfering with the investigations after she published a press statement trying to mislead the international media on the matter. Our concerns with regards to the sentiments of Justice Minster should be documented because we know how things are done in this country” said the editor.
Human Rights Commission Chairman Sabelo Masuku