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MBABANE – A man is alleged to have been shot by the police in case of mistaken identity, but the police claim he was wanted for a string of criminal activities.

It is alleged that Mthokozisi Dlamini, who had gone to fix his car at his elder brother’s homestead at Madlangampisi, was shot by the police who found him in the company of his brother and another man. Bhekuyise Dlamini, who is Mthokozisi’s brother, was said to be the one who was wanted by the police. They were sitting behind a bakkie when police approached and the two fled, living Mthokozisi behind. This is the same vehicle Mthokosizi had brought in to be fixed.


According to Mthokozisi’s relative, who preferred to remain anonymous, his sibling was shot on Friday evening. The source stated that the police were on board six different vehicles, including a Toyota Quantum, bakkie and an OSSU vehicle, among others. The relative said the police had gone to the homestead where his younger brother was fixing his vehicle, to conduct a raid. “My brother was shot twice in the chest next to the heart,” she claimed. She said the police later took the keys of the vehicle that his brother had gone to fix. She stated that Mliba police visited their homestead on Saturday to extend their apologies that they had mistakenly shot Mthokozisi and discovered that he was not their target after he had already been shot. She said the police informed them that the deceased was shot by Sgodvweni police and if there was any complaint they wanted to lodge, they should approach the Mliba police.


When questioned on whether there was any truth on the statement of the police that Mthokozisi was among the wanted suspects involved in copper theft, among others, the relative said it was not true. The relative added that even if he was part of the gang police wanted, they had no right to shoot him as he raised his hands as a sign of surrender. She said their relative did not run away from the police because he had no idea why the others fled. “At least they should have beaten him up or arrested him,” the relative said. She said the truth was that her relative had no idea on why the two fled but in the midst of them running, police emerged, meaning they may have seen the police from a distance. She said after shooting him, they went to the same homestead that they were going to raid and requested something to cover him up as they realised that he was dead and took him to Dvokolwako Health Centre mortuary.


Reached for comment, Chief Police Information and Communications Officer, Superintendent Phindile Vilakati said they were searching for three suspects. Vilakati said the suspects committed crimes around Buhleni and Mliba. She said they were part of a syndicate involved in stealing car parts, including car engines, copper wire and electric cables and a lot more. “Police had gone to survey on the day the incident happened and they came across the suspects where one was shot in the process,” she said. The police spokesperson stated that two fled but were later arrested and they all have criminal records including the deceased person. Vilakati said the late Mthokozisi was not a case of mistaken identity. She said when he was shot, he was running from the police. Vilakati said another suspect had called the police with the intention to surrender himself. She said the suspects had been linked to a number of crimes and exhibits have been found.

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