MBABANE: Professor Thuli Madonsela, the former South African Public Protector says to the best of her knowledge, the eSwatini citizens who were shot by security forces were not a threat.
Speaking to this Swaziland News on Wednesday when interviewed by this editor, Madonsela said some of the victims who are now disabled were shot at the back while others on the knees and this, was an indication that they were running away. She said over the years, there have been deplorable human rights violations in Swaziland and the shooting was in response to protests by the people who wanted the country to be democratized adding that people have a right to demand democracy.
But the former Public Protector noted that the protests were later marred by looting and destruction of property, to this, she said the government had a right to step-in and stop looting.
“The information shows that government’s response was disproportionate, violence was used excessively and gratuitously. A lot of the people who were killed and brutalized in various ways were posing no threat to anyone. If you look at lot of the people who were shot, they were shot at the back, on the legs as they were running and therefore, they posed no threat to anybody, there was no reason to shoot them”, she said.
The former Public Protector said it was time for Swaziland to democratize, she emphasized that this would give Swazis a voice on how the country’s resources were to be utilized. She said it can’t be right for the royal family to live a lavish lifestyle while the people suffered and starved with no jobs.
“It can’t be right by any standards. But democracy will make sure that people have a say on how resources that belong to the people of Swaziland are used and for what purpose and for whose benefit”, said the former Public Protector.
Meanwhile, Madonsela is expected to address Swazis live on Swaziland News on 12th November 2021 on issues of democracy, during an online discussion organized by the United Eswatini Diaspora.
Former South African Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.