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BACEDE ASSAULTED, DENIED ACCESS TO FOOD – WIFE

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MBABANE – Bongumenzi Mabuza, the wife of incarcerated former MP Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza, claims her husband was assaulted by a battalion of officers.

She said not only was her husband assaulted but was also once denied access to food at Matsapha Correctional Services facility. “My husband was bleeding from the nose with his eyes severely damaged. He was heavily assaulted and during the course of same, the designated junior officers were making utterances to the effect that ‘he will know Mswati’ today. Above all the officers were reeking alcohol,” she alleged.  

Danger

According to the wife, Bacede’s life was in great danger. She pointed out that according to her husband, the assault went on for a very long period and it was at that point that he thought the officers were intending to kill him. The wife yesterday moved an urgent application at the High Court where she is, among other prayers, seeking an order directing the commissioner general of His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) to grant her and her husband’s legal team access to him for purposes of ascertaining his health condition for further medical observation. According to Bongumenzi, officers stationed at the Matsapha Correctional Services denied her, her husband’s legal team and relatives access to him without any lawful cause or justification.

The applicant (Bongumenzi) is also praying for an order directing the commissioner general of HMCS to produce her husband for medical examination at Manzini Clinic. It was further her plea to the court that it should order the doctors at the Manzini Clinic to issue a medical report to her husband’s legal team forthwith after examining him. In her application, Bongumenzi submitted that the last time she was allowed access and/ visitation rights to her husband was on September 28, 2023.  She pointed out that her husband was in a state of clean bill of health, fit and proper and welcoming. The applicant further alleged that her husband even directed her which meals she must bring to him on September 29, 2023.

Access

“Lo and behold on September 29, 2023, I was denied access by officers from His Majesty Correctional Services on account that my husband was not willing to see me,” alleged the deponent (wife). In her founding affidavit, she related to the court that on September 29, 2023, as usual, she brought supper for her husband at around 3:30pm, but was denied access to him. She alleged that the officers told her that her husband was not willing to see her yet the previous day she had been entreated by him to bring food. Bongumenzi said she was advised by one of the officers from HMCS that she must perhaps call another person who would give her husband the food at her stead. “Like a duck to water, I hastily made a call to one of my employees to come to my rescue to assist in giving my husband his food as per the advice of the officer. She submitted that one of his employees eventually arrived at Matsapha Correctional facility some 30 minutes after her call but she was, however, denied entry on the pretext that the facility was now closed for visitors.

Lawyer

Bongumenzi recounted that following these developments, she then called her husband’s lawyer, Mhlengi Mabuza, to facilitate that her husband should be allowed to have his food for the night. She alleged that the lawyer informed her that he made attempts to call the officer in-charge on the day, who allegedly did not answer or returned his call. The applicant said eventually her husband’s attorney advised her to make another attempt to deliver the food on the morning of September 30, 2023. “I humbly submit that based on my husband’s attorney advice, I proceeded to Matsapha Correctional facility on September 30, 2023 to deliver breakfast to my husband at around 09:00 hours. Lo and behold, I was informed by the officers that my husband had said he was not interested in having breakfast,” submitted Bongumenzi.

She told the court that this was strange in that her husband did not have his supper the previous day yet the officers were claiming that he did not want to have breakfast. “I  realised that again I have been denied access to my husband by Senior Officer Sifuba Dlamini, this time around, who arrogantly stated that he cannot carry Mabuza ( Bacede) to come eat by force,” said the wife. She claimed that she again called her husband’s lawyer, informing him about the latest developments, who then arrived at the Matsapha Correctional Services.  
The applicant said the lawyer was also denied access in her presence.

She informed the court that she subsequently went back to Matsapha Correctional Services to deliver her husband’s supper.  It was her submission that on September 28,2023, her husband was in a good state of health but on September 30,2023, he appeared as someone who had be beaten to a pulp as there were visible injuries on his eyes, nose, arms, hands and on the back of his body. “May I respectfully submit that my husband informed me that he did not refuse to have his supper on September 29, 2023 and breakfast on September 30, 2023. Such statement by my husband was contrary to what was said by the officers who were trying to conceal the assault,” he argued. She said when she enquired the reason for the assault, she was not given an answer.

Pain

The applicant submitted that her husband was currently feeling severe pain all over his body, morose around his ribcage and she was therefore, desirous to have him produced for a medical attention at the Manzini Clinic. The matter was before Judge Sabelo Masuku, who by consent of both parties stood the matter down to October 3, 2023, to allow the respondents an opportunity to have the facility’s doctor conduct a medical assessment on Bacede. The court ordered that the assessment should be done with immediate effect. The applicant is represented by Mzwandile Masuku, while appearing for the national commissioner of HMCS is Principal Crown Counsel Vikinduku Manana from the chamber of the attorney general.

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