MANZINI:Colani Maseko, the President of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) is now in hiding in fear of being tortured by the police as crack down on Justice for Thabani protest leaders continues.
This comes after the police dispersed mourners at Thabani Nkomonye’s memorial service using teargas and live ammunition. Nkomonye is the University of Eswatini (UNESWA) law student who allegedly died at the hands of the police and his body was subsequently dumped at Nhlambeni while his car was hidden at the Sigodvweni Police Station. Students have organised protest demanding justice for their colleague, police responded with violence.
Speaking to this Swaziland News on Friday evening, the SNUS President said he was in hiding following the arrest of Bafanabakhe Sacolo, the union’s Secretary General.
“The police have detained the Secretary General alongside an undisclosed number of students, as we speak he is now at the Manzini Police Station. They haven’t charged him as yet but we fear that he will be tortured”, he said.
A questionnaire was sent to Phindile Vilakati regarding the ongoing police violence against protesters, however, she had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
When reached for comments Brian Sangweni, the Spokesperson of the Peoples United Democratic Party (PUDEMO) condemned the police brutality which seems to be going worse.
“This is not the first time the police are doing this, when they killed Sipho Jele in 2010 they did the same thing by disrupting his funeral which was postponed as a result. They are law unto themselves, their orientation is synonymous with violence. In our culture, a funeral service is supposed to be respected, but the police do not cease to disrespect such gatherings much against our culture and heritage. In a democratic Swaziland we will establish a police service that will serve the interests of the nation not of the royal family”, said the PUDEMO Spokesperson.
Mandla Nkomonye, a brother to Thabani Nkomonye said as a family they were still in shock after the chaos that was caused by the police.
“This was a peaceful service, but the police, without even consulting with the elders disrupted the event unprovoked. The service was well organised and the COVID-19 regulations were observed, we are still wondering as to why they decided to disrupt it”, he said.
Justice for Thabani Protest