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Friday, 29 January 2010

SWAZILAND POLICE ‘SHOOT STUDENTS’

Swaziland Police are reported to have fired bullets at protesting university students, injuring two of them.


They deny this and say they ‘only’ fired teargas.


The incident happened (or didn’t depending on who’s telling the truth) as students from the University of Swaziland (UNISWA) attempted to march through the kingdom’s capital, Mbabane, to demand an increase in allowances.


The Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper reports that police stopped buses carrying students and denied them access to the city because the buses had no permits. The students were on their way to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.


The Times reports, ‘Teargas canisters were fired to disperse the groups and some students were assaulted in the process of denying them access to visit the ministry.’


The Times goes on, ‘It is also alleged that gunshots were fired leaving at least two students injured. However, the police denied this save for firing teargas canisters to disperse them.’


Students are boycotting classes and the university has closed indefinitely.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

SWAZILAND RESEARCH ONLINE

Swaziland.indd

Thank you to those who contacted my after I uploaded a number of documents / reports and various interesting items about Swaziland on the Internet last month (December 2009).


I promised to upload more and here they are (apologies for the delay but I am presently in an ‘occupied territory’ a long way from Swaziland and good Internet connections are not a priority here.)


There are more than 50 documents uploaded so far (and more to come – eventually). They cover a range of topics about Swaziland, including human rights, civil liberties, gender, children’s rights, economics, HIV AIDS, media freedom, among others.


I hope you find them useful. I see the site has had nearly 3,000 visits already.


To find the documents go to here


You can use a search engine there to find what you are looking for.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

SWAZI GUN COPS ENDANGER CHILDREN

Swaziland’s gun-happy police, described recently by one newspaper editor as ‘lunatics’, fired pistols into the air endangering the lives of primary school pupils nearby.


The police were trying to question a man who they saw among a crowd of children and their parents and teachers. Taking no account of the danger the police fired shots into the air, causing widespread panic.


The incident happened yesterday (26 January 2010) at Mqolo Primary School in Swaziland’s capital, Mbabane, shortly after the morning assembly had dispersed. Three police officers are reported to have invaded the school yard. The suspect ran away through the crowd of parents, teachers and pupils.


The police fired several warning shots in the air but the man escaped.


The Swazi Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, reported, ‘Terrified parents and teachers were all over the place searching for the children who were now all over the place after the shots had been fired.’


The school principal, Archie Thwala, had to call the pupils to the assembly where it was confirmed that none had been hurt in the process.


Thwala said, ‘I am not sure whether all the children will come to school tomorrow, especially the first graders who are starting school for the very first time.


‘They may think school is a dangerous place to be in, after their ordeal with the police and thug.’

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

POLICE ‘LUNATICS’ ON KILLING SPREE

The editor of one of Swaziland’s few independent newspapers has called on the kingdom’s chief of police to stop ‘lunatics’ in his force from killing civilians indiscriminately.


There has been a spate of killings by police in Swaziland making people suspicious that the Royal Swaziland Police Force has a shoot-to-kill policy.


Thulani Thwala, editor of the Swazi News, writing in his own newspaper, warned Commissioner of Police Isaac Magagula ‘against handing loaded guns to lunatics’. He called for a ‘ceasefire’ on police shooting civilians.


He goes on, ‘While I personally appreciate cops fighting crime in the country, it becomes worrying when they open fire and shoot at people indiscriminately.


‘I challenge Isaac to convince us that the lunatics within his force will be brought under control. I still fail to understand how a person (suspected criminal or not) is shot in the head. What is going on really?


‘Has the shoot to kill slogan been misinterpreted? Isaac, please do something about the dwindling morale and humanity levels. I call for cease fire.’


Meanwhile, a police constable accused of shooting a civilian who was hitch-hiking along the Mliba road has made a remand appearance at the Manzini Magistrates Court.


Sivuno Lushaba, aged 29, from Sihlutse in the Shiselweni region will appear again tomorrow (27 January 2010). He has yet to enter a plea.


The police officer is said to have shot the hitchhiker under unclear circumstances, something that led people in the community there to hold a march to the police station to demand answers.


The shooting occurred a few days after police shot and killed three alleged robbers who were attempting to break into the Valley Farm factory at Sidvokodvo.


Barnabas Dlamini,
Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister, has ordered an enquiry into the Sidvokodvo shootings.