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image The interior of the vehicle was left in this situation after the incident. (R) This tyre was shot by the team of police officers and the suspect lost control of the vehicle, crashing into a tree in the process (Pics: Jabulisa Dlamini)

MANZINI – A team of about 15 traffic police officers allegedly pursued a drink- driving offender and shot at him, leaving his BMW sedan with over 20 bullet holes.

The pursuit of the black Five-Series BMW allegedly begun near Mario’s Pub and Grill in the city centre where the suspect, Wandile Bhembe, had been enjoying the night with his friends.
Bhembe (30) revealed that he had not seen traffic officers chasing after him on the night as it was dark and the Royal Swaziland Police (RSP) vehicles had their headlights off.

“In an attempt to evade the police, I decided to drive through Moneni, access the bypass and go through Nazarene to Ngwane Park, where I reside. However, when I got near the RFM Hospital, I heard gunshots.”
“When I looked back, I saw vehicles being driven without lights on and people shooting at my car. Realising that my life was in danger, I sped off and the cars pursued me until I got to the Ngwane Park bridge,” Bhembe said.
He added that the chase led to the police shooting one of his tyres and a violent aftermath occurred.
Bhembe said after shooting the tyre, he immediately lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree.

At the time, the team of uniformed police officers parked their vehicles and allegedly used their pistols to break the vehicle windows.
“They started with the windscreen and broke it using the guns they were carrying, I heard one of them saying “Asibulaleni lenja, mine ngilishayile lelithayi”-loosely translated, ‘let us kill this dog, I have already shot at the tyre.’
“While trying to open the door and preparing to get off, the cops dragged me into a nearby drainage and severely assaulted me all over the body using fists, kicks and open hands,” Bhembe narrated in his hospital bed. He said while he was being assaulted, one of the officers sat on his chest and others continued beating him up.

He sustained injuries all over his body, especially to his head, mouth and chest.
From the scene, his vehicle was towed to the Manzini Police Station and parked there with the bullet holes and broken windows.
Bhembe, who was by himself when the incident occurred, was later taken to Mafutseni Police Station where he was kept until Sunday morning.

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