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COPS DID THIS TO ME – BOY (13)

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MBABANE – While other children were enjoying their New Year’s Day, Mduduzi* (13) endured one of the worst cases of brutality, allegedly at the hands of the police.


The names of the child and father were deliberately withheld to protect the child’s identity.
Mduduzi was allegedly assaulted by two police officers at the Ngwenya Police Station with a sjambok on the buttocks after being suspected of stealing his cousin’s mobile phone, a Mobicell which costs less than E1 000.
Narrating what unfolded on the fateful day, Mduduzi said the phone got lost after his cousin had lent it to him.


They were playing as a group and he says he does not know how or when the phone got lost. He said his aunt asked the group of five children where the phone was but none of them knew. She then took the children to the Ngwenya Police Station with the aim of uncovering the truth.


When they got to the police station, Mduduzi said he was taken into a separate room where two officers interrogated him. In that room, there was one big table and a number of chairs, he recalls.
He said he was accused of having stolen the phone and would be lashed until he revealed where it was.


The teenager said he told the officers that he did not know where it was or how it got lost but instead, the officers instructed him to strip off his trousers and lie on the floor.
“One officer put his foot on the back of my neck while the other one lashed me twice with the sjambok,” alleged Mduduzi.
Tears and screams did not help as he was told to say where the phone was.


He said he maintained his position that he had no idea where it was and the officers allegedly said they would not release him until he spoke the truth. The confused and hurt young boy did not know what else to say since what was truth to him was not accepted by the police.


Just as it happened a few seconds back, Mduduzi said he was told to lie down on the cold concrete floor and as lay, he felt the same shoe pinning him hard on the neck against the floor.
He said the other police officer once again lashed him on the buttocks one last time before his aunt came in to plead that they release him. He had to walk in shame as his four friends who were at the police station looked at him with pitiful eyes.

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