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MBABANE – Where drugs are involved there is a possibility of death.

A family is mourning the death of their relative who allegedly died in the hands of bucopho (chiefdom councillor) and three other men at Emfeni. Emfeni is an area situated under Maphalaleni Constituency.

Bucopho is an elected person who forms part of the constituency team during the national elections. The main mandate of Bucopho is to connect the constituents from different chiefdoms with the Inkhundla as far as development is concerned. 

It is alleged that Mfanasibili Bakhulu Maphosa lost his life during punishment meted on him by the ‘court’ which deals with dagga thieves in the area. The bucopho of the area, Jimson Mamba, is alleged to be a member of the ‘kangaroo court’ which deals with dagga thieves in the area.

It is said that there were two options if dagga thieves were caught stealing dagga from the fields. Information gathered from the residents of the area was to the effect that thieves were given an option to either pay a fine for the stolen dagga or get punished. It is said that after Maphosa failed to pay the fine for allegedly stealing the dagga, the ‘kangaroo court’ decided that he be punished in a way that would serve as a deterrent to other would-be thieves.

Those who watched helplessly when the punishment was meted on Maphosa alleged that he was stripped naked before he was paraded in full view of the public. The eyewitnesses said while being paraded in public, Maphosa was assaulted with sticks and stones all over his body.

“He apologised but nobody cared about him since punishing people who are accused of stealing dagga has become a norm in the area,” said one of the residents of the area.

The witness further alleged that it was too late to save Maphosa’s life when the police arrived as he was severely assaulted. Maphosa died while undergoing treatment at the Pigg’s Peak Government Hospsital where he was rushed to by the police.

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