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Human Rights Commission confirms 46 civil unrest deaths, political parties have evidence of more deaths

Saturday, 30th October, 2021

MBABANE: Lawyer Sabelo Masuku, the Commissioner of Human Rights Commission has confirmed that forty-six(46)people died and two hundred and forty-five(245) injured during the June 2021 political unrest.

This is contained in an investigation report released by the Commission on 29th October 2021 which further indicated the possibility of more deaths that were not reported.

“The Commission verified 46 deaths, 245 people were injured and 235 were arrested and detained. Interviews with the survivors of the unrest revealed what transpired and the impact of the injuries sustained thereafter”, read the report in part.

The report further stated that on and around May 2021, calls for political reformation started circulating on various platforms across the country.

“Three members of parliament also advocated for these changes. A challenge to prove that these Members of Parliament had the mandate from their constituencies to make this call resulted in a series of petitions being delivered to the Parliament in support of the call for change. Protesters were calling for constitutional and political reforms as well as lamenting government’s failure to deliver basic services to its citizens; socio-economic challenges; and police brutality. Petitions were delivered to various Tinkhundla centres predominantly by the youth to their Members of Parliament as an endorsement of the call for constitutional and political reforms.These calls were heightened during protests against ‘police brutality’ following the death of a 25 year old University of Eswatini law student Thabani Nkomonye. The three legislators (Honourable MP Bacede Mabuza, Honourable MP Mthandeni Dube and Honourable MP Mduduzi Simelane) joined the call for #justiceforThabani movement which supported the call for constitutional and political reforms”, the Commission stated in the report.

The Commission further highlighted the decision by the then Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku to ban the delivery of petitions who said he was maintaining law and order.

Reached for comments, Wandile Dludlu, the Secretary General of the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO) said they were not surprised about the report by the Commission adding that the intention was to protect and please the regime.

“So far, we have been to over seventy(70) funerals and with that figure, we have included the over thirty(30) we attended from the month of August 2021. There’s an organization that is collecting that information and the people who were injured and now disabled have a WhatsApp group, so we do have the figures. We are assisting some of these to access health care in South Africa and we are not surprised that the Commission is trying to hide the information. Lomfana lona lo-Sabelo(Commissioner) ngumfana waThemba Masuku, manje lamanga ngatsi wawamunya kuyise”, said the PUDEMO Secretary General.

 Human Rights Commission confirms 46 civil unrest deaths, political parties have evidence of more deaths
Human Rights Commission has confirmed 46 deaths