Gunshots fired during Hilltop, Mahwalala war'
MBABANE - A war between Hilltop and Mahwalala residents ended nastily on Saturday when police shot one of the suspects.
Police shot and injured Ndumiso Mbetse in the left leg, just above the ankle. Mahwalala residents expressed outrage that the police allegedly did not fire any warning shots before shooting Mbetse.
He is currently admitted to the Mbabane Government Hospital’s Male Surgical Ward 16.
Sources said the nasty confrontation was triggered by long standing animosity between the residents of the neighbouring locations.
"A group of residents from Hilltop went to buy alcohol at Nganono bar in Mahwalala. One of the residents, an elderly man estimated to be in his 60s was severely assaulted by some of the Mahwalala residents," said the source.
The source said he did not know the circumstances leading to the assault of the man. He said after the old man was assaulted, Hilltop residents bayed for the assailants’ blood.
"Police from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) came to warn us to desist from any form of violence. They told the Hilltop residents to look for the assailants and hand them over to the police," recounted the source.
It is said Mbetse was one of the Hilltop residents who were helping the police in looking for the old man’s assailants, the source said.
He said somewhere along the way, the police turned on Mbetse and arrested him and took him into the back of the police van. Angry residents are said to have stopped the police van at the Hilltop traffic circle.
During the exchange between the police and the residents, Mbetse and the other detained residents are alleged to have alighted from the police van.
The source alleged that the police then shot Mbetse in the leg and he fell.
Police also shot in the air to disperse the crowd that had gathered, he said. The police then took him to hospital. When this publication paid him a visit at the Mbabane Government Hospital on Sunday, he was found struggling to breathe and he had lost his speech.
A police officer was guarding him.
Mbetse is a fugitive - cops
MBABANE - Police have said Ndumiso Mbetse was a fugitive from the law and he resisted arrest on the day he was shot.
Police Deputy Public Relations Officer Assistant, Superintendent Stephen Dlamini, said Mbetse was on the police’s wanted list.
"Yes, police shot him. He was on the police wanted list for a robbery charge.
"As police were trying to apprehend him, he tried to escape," he said.
Dlamini said police had to use minimum force to apprehend him and that is how he came to be shot.
He said Mbetse currently faces three charges which are robbery, resisting lawful arrest and allowing another suspect to escape.
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