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COPS TO POLITICAL ACTIVISTS: GO HOME, BOREDOM WILL KILL YOU

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MBABANE – An attempt to deliver a petition at His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) turned rowdy as police dispersed political activists with over 13 teargas canisters, yesterday in Mbabane.

The less than 50 political activists donning colours and flags from the different political formations in the country, yesterday marched to the HMCS headquarters, to deliver a petition in which they were demanding answers on what they termed as the  ‘attempted  murder’ of the two incarcerated Members of Parliament (MPs), Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza from Hosea and Mthandeni Dube from Ngwempisi. The MPs legal representative, Ben J Simelane had confirmed the narrative, that the two MPs were allegedly heavily assaulted by Correctional Services officers on Wednesday morning.
The political activists assembled next to the Mbabane Government Hospital and proceeded as planned to deliver the petition to the Commissioner General Phindile Lomakhosini Dlamini. At around 1pm, armed police officers were already waiting for the political activists to arrive at the HMCS gate.

Warning

The over 30 police officers then gave the political activists only two minutes to disperse. They shouted instructions to them. The police officers took turns advising the political activists to abandon the petition delivery and said “Hambani ekhaya situnge sitonibulala” which loosely translated ‘go home, boredom will kill you’. But the political activists including Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF) Chairperson Thulani Maseko and Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC) Sibongile Mazibuko, continued to sing political chants and charged towards the police and that is when all hell broke loose as the cops began to use tear gas canisters to disperse them.

One of the cops  was seen attempting  to throw a teargas canister inside the vehicle used by the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) Secretary General (SG) Wandile Dludlu, failed as he quickly closed the window and drove away. NNLC’s Sibongile Mazibuko was told to go home as they did  not want the blood of an elderly person on their hands. MSF’s Thulani Maseko did not run away but instead remained behind as the police repeatedly shouted that, boredom would kill them and that they should go home immediately.

Harmed

Maseko said he would  go and see a doctor as he feared his eyes had been harmed by the  teargas as he was seen wiping them with a towel. The group of protesters eventually turned back without delivering their petition and regrouped at the Mbabane Bus Rank. At the bus rank, the group of protesters continued to sing political chants in front of a few police officers from the traffic department, who were stationed at the bus rank. While that was happening , police officers from the Operational Support Services Unit (OSSU) went to park next to the Engen Garage in Mbabane and monitored from afar. As it became apparent that the petition delivery was not going to happen, political activist   Sakhile ‘Aw’viva’ Nxumalo asked the crowd to disperse and go  get  themselves ready for the  funeral of their late  member, Mandla Nkomonye. Nkomonye’s funeral was scheduled for 1am this morning.

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