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MBABANE – A total of five suspects including an Immigration officer, were paraded naked as a form of punishment meted against them by Mpolonjeni community police for alleged theft crimes in the area.

The community woke up to this drama as the suspect were paraded naked from an area known as KaMasuku to Nhlanganisweni. On top of parading naked, they were allegedly severely beaten on their buttocks.
The community police went on a widespread search for the suspects following ongoing crime witnessed at the area, where mostly vehicle parts were targeted. This was during what was termed by the community police as; ‘Operation Clean Mpolonjeni.’

The suspects were ordered out of their place of abode in the wee hours.
Among the suspects was an immigration officer, who was severely injured during the punishment. He is currently recuperating at the Mbabane Government Hospital. In an interview with one of the community police members, Menzi Maseko, he said following the increasing crime in the area, they decided to, launch Operation Clean Mplonjeni, especially because the suspects were known.


Maseko said the suspects also lived in the community and finding them was not difficult. He said the suspects allegedly stole vehicle parts including gear boxes, kombi seats, fire extinguishers and lights. According to Maseko, the suspects targeted certain homesteads, including that of the area’s chief.
“We were just fed up as a community and wanted to send a clear message to criminals as we are approaching the festive season,” Maseko stated.

They warned anyone who would be tempted to commit crime in the area not to dare try as they were on the lookout and ready for war. He said they had noted an increase in crime in the past few months, something that got them concerned. Maseko said the suspects had committed a string of robberies.

One of the suspects, who was found rolling on the ground as per an order from the community police to serve his punishment, confirmed to have robbed a resident of the area a cellphone and shoes. He said they stripped the unsuspecting resident his Nike sneakers, which he said were sold in Manzini.
The suspects were handed over to the police. When sought for comment Chief Police Information and Communications Officer, Superintendent Phindile Vilakati confirmed the matter.

Vilakati said two of the suspects were admitted to the Mbabane Government Hospital after they were beaten up by a mob. She said a case of theft had been opened.  

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Should govt counduct random raids to fight crime?