MBABANE: While Ncamiso Ngcamphalala, the President of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Swaziland is languishing in jail, police are busy harassing and torturing citizens with the hope of collecting evidence to substintiate a sedition case against him.
The Swaziland News has learned that police recently detained Sanele Sihlongonyane, a member of the Swaziland Democratic Party (SWADEPA) on Monday where he was questioned and ordered to write a statement regarding the article that resulted to the EFF President charged with sedition.
Speaking to this publication, the political activist said he was detained at Big Bend police station where he was harassed by over 15 police officers from the Tingculungculu Serious Crime Unit.
“Police detained me at Big Bend and asked about the political agenda of SWADEPA before ordering me to write a statement regarding the article that resulted to Ncamiso Ngcamphalala charged with sedition” he said.
Superintendent Phindile Valakati did not respond to our questions when asked for comment on this matter.
An independent investigation by this publication uncovered that when the police arrested the EFF Swaziland President, they were hoping to then turn Swati Newsweek editor Eugene Dube into a State witness against the political activist.
But their prosecution plan to subject the political activist to injustice was undermined after the scribe fled the country, this was after he was brutally attacked and raided by the police for publishing critical articles about King Mswati.
Reached for comments journalist Eugene Dube said he will never agree to be part of injustice by testifying against the EEF Swaziland President. Speaking to this Swaziland News, the Swati Newsweek editor said he learned through his sources within the law enforcement agency that the police wanted to arrest him so he can be forced to testify against the political activist.
“This would have been a dark day for journalism, we don’t testify against citizens whom we interviewed. I am aware that their plan was to arrest me as well so that I can be forced to testify against Ncamiso. Their second option was to force Ncamiso to testify against me. We want to state categorically that as journalists, we are restricted by the ethics to testify against our sources” said the journalist.
Sibusiso Nhlabatsi, a human rights lawyer when asked to share a legal opinion on the subject matter, said the police were not only violating the rights of the ‘suspect’ by arresting him without evidence but provisions of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
“In terms of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, police cannot arrest to investigate so what they are doing now is unlawful, this is one of the reasons why a person should not be in police custody for more than 48 hours. They must then transfer him to the correctional services because the assumption is, they investigate first and then arrest you. So,if they arrested and charged this guy but they are still pursuing people for evidence, it means they didn’t do their work because once a person has been charged, it means they have investigated. You cannot arrest to investigate but you investigate first and then effect an arrest” said the human rights lawyer.
Lucky Lukhele, the Spokesperson of the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) said the arrest of the EFF Swaziland President was merely to please the King adding that there was absolutely no case against the political activist.
“We condemn the continued harassment of political activists and media practitioners. This will never stop the train to democratize the country and we call on the Prime Minister and the King to call his dogs to order because they are turning the country into a police state. We call for the release of the young man as he is innocent. The arrest of the EFF President is just a witch-hunt to prove to the King that the police are doing a commendable job” said the SSN Spokesperson
Vimbai Mupunga, the Spokesperson of the Economic Freedom Fighters in Zimbabwe said Deputy National Commissioner Sam Mthembu, Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini and King Mswati will be held accountable should anything happen to the political activists.
“The country’s authorities will be held accountable if the leader does not return safe. EFF Zimbabwe learned this rather disappointing development with great shock especially upon discovering that his crime was expressing an honest opinion” he said
EFF Swaziland President Ncamiso Ngcamphalala