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MANZINI – CANGO Executive Director Emmanuel Ndlangamandla says the alleged assault on the incarcerated MPs was a kind of treatment reminiscent of the apartheid regime and other repressive governments.

CANGO is the abbreviation for the Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations, which has a human rights consortium under it. In a statement issued yesterday, Ndlangamandla said his organisation was shocked and concerned by the alleged brutalisation of the two Members of Parliament (MP), who were allegedly invaded and assaulted in their prison cells by the warders of His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS). The two MPs are Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza of Hosea and Mthandeni Dube of Ngwempisi. “This kind of treatment is reminiscent of the apartheid regime and other repressive governments,” said Ndlangamandla.   


The director said he recalled that a few years ago, the public was notified that the institution was in transition from being a force to a service. He said, therefore, this was a low point of the Correctional Services institution because incarcerated people were human and they had rights that the State had obligations to protect. He said as an organisation, they also noted that the unfortunate incident occurred at a time when the United Nations (UN) was hosting heads of State and governments, who were all claiming to be guided by the UN Charter and values.
The executive director said the values were not in line with the HMCS allegations of brutalisation of inmates. “This is not in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which consists of 30 Articles, of which Article 5 states: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment,” said Ndlangamandla.

He added that the nation was a signatory to various human rights legal instruments internationally and continentally. He said some of these instruments had been domesticated through the country’s 2005 Constitution. Ndlangamandla said a disappointing factor which generated discontent among the population was that the MPs had not been convicted of any crime. He said it was hard not to draw conclusion that they were denied bail so as to be tortured.


He said the actions made it clear that in this country, being elected into Parliament by the people may cost one their life because in this system, an elected MP should not serve the voters’ interests but that of the elite. On another note, Ndlangamandla stated that as a human rights defender, they could not be silent in the midst of human rights violations. He said they were still concerned that the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland-led protest on socio-economic matters as permitted in the law, was denied. He said such a posture by government was noted by investors globally.

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