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WE THOUGHT WARDERS WANTED TO KILL US - MPS

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MBABANE – Members of Parliament (MPs) Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube say they thought the  Correctional officers wanted to kill them.

The Correctional officers who assaulted the MPs on Thursday morning, according to MP Mabuza were uttering the words; ‘iso ngeso’ when assaulting them. He described their attack by the warders as an act of cowardice. The Hosea MP and his co-accused, Ngwempisi MP Mthandeni Dube yesterday filed an application to compel the Commissioner General of His Majesty’s Correctional Services, Phindile Dlamini, to produce them for medical examination at Manzini Clinic.

Assaulting

In the application, MP Mabuza said he was in his cell with MP Dube and they were attacked by several Correctional officers. He said the warders turned off the lights and allegedly began assaulting them heavily. “The unlawful exercise went on for a very prolonged period such that we were both severely injured,” MP Mabuza told the court. He stated that when he enquired as to why they were being assaulted, he did not get an explanation. The MP pointed out that he seemed to have infuriated the warders by asking them why they assaulted them as they allegedly continued to assault them.
“I am currently feeling severe pain all over my body, especially around my ribcage and, therefore, I am desirous to have myself produced for medical attention at Manzini Clinic. I state that I am currently experiencing  nose bleeds and the second applicant’s (MP Dube) eye was severely injured.

Jeopardy

“We were heavily assaulted and during the course of same, the designated juniors of the first respondent (commissioner general) were making utterances to the effect that ‘iso ngeso’,” MP Mabuza narrated. He said he had serious apprehension that his life was in serious jeopardy. According to MP Mabuza, as the assault went on for a long time, he thought the warders intended to kill them. He submitted that he could barely move and he felt like his limbs were dislocated. The MP alleged that the commissioner general denied them the opportunity to access medical assistance. According to MP Mabuza, during the course of the same day, Human Rights Lawyer Thulani Maseko, was denied permission to consult with them. He said another attorney, Mhlengi Mabuza, who is part of their legal team, was made to wait for about two hours before being allowed to see them.  MP Mabuza further informed the court that they were not allowed to make phone calls. He said this was a clear violation of their right to legal representation.

Examination

“This is an application for an order to direct the first respondent to produce us before a medical doctor at Manzini Clinic for medical examination. I hasten to add that the injuries were severe and inflicted in a brutal manner with the sole intention of decapitating and/or taking our lives. “I state that the assault was unjustified and an act of cowardice perpetrated by the first respondent and/or its designated juniors solely to harm us. There has been no indication on the part of the first respondent to assist ourselves medically. Thus we fully comprehend that the assault was wilful and meant to harm ourselves and further undermine our bodily integrity,” said MP Mabuza.

He told the court that their continued denial to afford them medical attention might lead to serious and permanent medical complications. He said the longer they were not seen by a medical practitioner, the might lose their lives. MP Dube filed a confirmatory affidavit aligning himself with MP Mabuza’s submissions. They argued that the matter was urgent. The Crown did not oppose the MPs’ application. The Crown’s representative made Judge Nkosinathi Maseko aware of a memorandum communicating that the Correctional Services had granted the MPs permission to attend to Manzini Clinic and had made arrangements for them to see a medical doctor at the clinic at noon yesterday.

Health

The matter was stood down while the MPs’ representatives, Mhlengi Mabuza and Dumisani Hleta, travelled to Manzini Clinic around noon to ascertain if the accused persons were indeed at the clinic. They found MP Mabuza at the clinic. MP Dube, according to a source in the know, did not travel to the clinic with his co-accused since he preferred to use a different health facility. When the attorneys, Mabuza and Hleta, returned to the High Court at 2:30pm, they advised the court that they were withdrawing the application. The application was then withdrawn.

 Meanwhile, our sister publication, the Times of Eswatini yesterday reported that the assault on the MPs lasted about 45 minutes. According to impeccable sources, the legislators and seven other inmates were allegedly assaulted by Correctional officers around 6am yesterday. It was alleged that about 20 officers from the Rapid Response Unit, which  is a para-military unit of HMCS, went to the cell occupied by the Hosea Constituency MP Mabuza and Ngwempisi Constituency Dube.

It was supposed that during the attack, the Correctional Officers had their faces covered in balaclavas. Upon entry, it was claimed that the officers started assaulting the two legislators with open hand claps, fists, kicked them and also spray guns. As this was happening, the sources alleged that the Correctional officers were using expletives and also claiming that it was ‘an eye for an eye’.

Questioned

Seeing this, it was said the seven inmates occupying the same cell with the MPs tried to intervene and questioned the violence. However, the intervention of the inmates supposedly drew the ire of the HMCS personnel as they supposedly started assaulting them as well. During the skirmish, it was claimed the law enforcers continued to use all sorts of missiles and assaulted all inmates in the cell. The sources claimed that MP Dube was also pressed against a bed and against the wall such that he sustained an injury on his eye. On the other hand, it was purported that MP Mabuza was assaulted all over the body in such a way that he bled profusely through his nose. The assault was said to have lasted for 45 minutes.

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