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Churches want police related deaths probed

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MBABANE - The Council of Swaziland Churches has called upon government to conduct an independent inquiry into the deaths of Bhekinkhosi ‘Scarface’ Masina, Sihle Bhembe and Vamile Gumbi.

The council wants the independent inquiry to include all stakeholders; Parliament, the police service, the church and members of civic society.

In a statement, the council said what was worrying about these deaths was that they happened in the custody of the police, or just after they had been taken in for questioning, over the course of three subsequent weeks and it is imperative to ascertain the circumstances leading to their deaths.

The council is also asking members of the public to allow the Masina family to grieve their relative’s death without being judgemental.

The council said it was aware that Masina had been accused of numerous crimes, in particular abduction and rape.

They said they were hopeful that Masina would be apprehended by the police to face his charges in a court of law and added that if Masina was shot in the leg, logic dictated that he would have been captured and arrested.

The council further declared that their stance is that even alleged criminals are human beings and no one has a right to kill them.

The council noted that in the case of Gumbi the police questioning was at her instance, since no one knew what had happened to her employer’s money.

The council said in the death of Bhembe, the family trusted the police to detain him because he was not apparently of sound mind and became violent, but the intention was to allow him to calm down which is why they enlisted the help of police officers.

They blamed the police officers for taking three days to take him to a psychiatric centre.

The council feels there was no solid explanation on how Bhembe died.

The council also called upon churches to resolutely stand and defend the rights of defenceless and marginalised people in society.

 

They also called upon government to strengthen the capacity of the police in order for them to conduct their duties in accordance with international standards and in conformity with human rights instruments.

The council further called upon government to organise dialogues or discussions with the affected families as per the families’ requests which should include counselling sessions for close relatives.

 


Comments

 

CSC that is a good resolution that u have taken but the challenge is that you are against RSP which I'm sure your efforts will be like those of a dog in a hunting ground; if the Police Commissioner was concerned about the toll rise of death of suspects under his nose; he would have done something long time ago but because naye its like its motivational to him he is quite; how many people have died under the torture of his boyz? A lot, but still no steps are taken to eliminate this; they will only tell you we are investigating; coz they are good in investgating; i sincerely would like to encourage you CSC to stand up for this and see unto it that it is done.
Jun 25, 2012, 11:21 AM, Mehlwengwadla Nkonyane-Mahikeng 2745 (mduduzi78@yahoo.com)

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