SIMUNYE: Mandla Maziya, a security guard was allegedly suffocated and killed by eSwatini police in midst of a criminal investigation regarding the disappearance of a tonne of sugar in his place of employment.
Nhlanhla Maziya, the brother to the deceased told this Swaziland News that his brother who was employed as a security guard by Southern Star, a company that was contracted to transport sugar at Thabankulu was grabbed by the police for interrogation on Friday, however the following day(Saturday) the cops arrived to inform them as a family that Mandla has died.
“As a family, we were then invited by the police into a meeting at Simunye where one Senior Superintendent Clement Sihlongonyane from the police Headquarters who said he was representing the National Commissioner was present. During the meeting, the police were reluctant to tell us as a family what actually happened to my brother but said we should wait for a post-mortem report that will reveal the cause of death. As a family, we are not interested in that report because Magagula, who was taken by the police for questioning together with Mandla told us that they were suffocated, unfortunately my brother died” he said.
Reached for comments, Superintendent Phindile Vilakati, the eSwatini police Spokesperson confirmed that a man was 'caught' by death while in police custody, however, she said investigations were still on-going to ascertain the cause of death.
“We do have a man who was caught by death while in the custody of police. He complained of chest pains and started sweating. Investigations are underway to ascertain the cause of death and proper action will be done” said the police Spokesperson.
Sibusiso Nhlabatsi, a human rights lawyer said in the absence of an Independent Police Complaints Commission(IPCC)citizens will continue to die at the hands of the police.
“We need an Independent Police Complaints Commission(IPCC) because we cannot expect the police to investigate themselves in such cases where a suspect died in police custody” said the human rights lawyer.
When reached for comments, Lucky Lukhele, the Spokesperson of the Swaziland Solidarity Network(SSN) first sent condolences to the family but warned the Nation that eSwatini was now a police State.
“We sympathise with the Maziya family but It is important to state categorically that Swaziland long become a police State, we have many citizens who died in police custody, we can count from the 90s Noxolo Mdluli, Mathousand and even Sipho Jele” said the SSN Spokesperson.
The late Mandla Maziya who died in police custody.