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Swaziland Newsletter No. 490

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  • Richard Rooney
    Swaziland Newsletter No. 490 11 August 2017 Newsfrom and about Swaziland, compiled by Africa Contact, Denmark (www.afrika.dk)in collaboration with Swazi Media
    Message 1 of 1 , 11 Aug
      Swaziland Newsletter No. 490 11 August 2017
      News from and about Swaziland, compiled by Africa Contact, Denmark (www.afrika.dk) in collaboration with Swazi Media Commentary (www.swazimedia.blogspot.com), and sent to all with an interest in Swaziland - free of charge.
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      Prisoners stripped naked, assaulted

      Swazi Media Commentary, 7 August 2017

      Prison warders in Swaziland assaulted inmates by stripping them naked and squeezing their testicles, a local newspaper reported.
      It allegedly happened at Bhalekane Correctional Services.
      The Swazi Observer reported (27 July 2017) a former inmate who it called Bhekani Mkhonta (not his real name) said an entire dormitory of prisoners was ordered to strip naked.
      The newspaper reported, ‘The officers proceeded to search their dorms for narcotics (dagga) and money.  “They were wearing surgical gloves, ordered us to strip naked and face the wall as they wanted to do a strip search and they wanted things like dagga, cigarettes and money; which we thought was normal,” he said. “However they then started to smack us on our buttocks,” Mkhonta said, adding how this was closely followed by the use of fists.
      ‘“I had my private parts squeezed like one does when milking a cow,” he said.’
      The newspaper said the alleged attack happened in early July 2017. The Observer said, ‘He said he had decided to tell his story to disclose the kind of inhumane treatment inmates are subjected to, revealing that on this incident alone, some of the officers even went as far as using their own belts to lash the inmates, while demanding them to produce the narcotics they had in their possession.’
      It reported Mkhonta saying, ‘That lasted for about 30 minutes, we were all crying in pain, as most of us had genitals squeezed in that manner, what hurts the most is that not all of the inmates smoke, be it cigarettes or dagga yet we were all tortured.’
      Mkhonta said that a week after the alleged attack, another cell was invaded in the same manner.
      According to Mkhonta there was no money or narcotics found.
      Correctional Services  Public Relations Officer (PRO) Superintendent Gugulethu Dlamini disputed the allegations but confirmed that strip searches were normal in all correctional facilities.
      It has also been alleged that warders at the jail sell drugs to inmates
      See also

      Parliament failing to challenge govt - unions
      BY STANLEY KHUMALO  Times of Swaziland, 8 August 2017
      MBABANE – Public sector associations (PSAs) are not happy with the current crop of legislators as they refer to them as attention seekers.

      This, they said, following a number of issues that have reached dire stages without being noted at grassroots level where the MPs meet with the electorate weekly.

      The issues the unionists referred to were the shortage of food in schools and medical drugs countrywide. They said the MPs were missing critical social issues which left the electorate in a compromised position. In support of their view, the representatives noted that parliamentarians failed to raise issues before they blew out of proportion.

      Bheki Mamba, President of the Swaziland Nurses Democratic Union (SWADNU), said his organisation, since its inception, had voiced out the reckless spending by government and failure by MPs to seek accountability.
      Mamba said the crusade by MPs to seem vocal about lack of priority on the matters of national concern was just a curtain used to lure voters into their camps during next year’s elections.

      The unionist further said government would always find a challenge in delivery of the necessary social services as long as reckless spending was still part of their daily dealings due to failure by MPs to challenge government expenditure. He said government failed to appreciate the needs of the people and avail resources to those needs, instead, priority was given to items that benefit a few.

      The nurses’ president said: “There is no medication in public hospitals, they can’t fund the Free Primary Education (FPE) programme and there is always food shortage in schools, yet they prioritise on international trips and travels.”
      Mamba insisted that MPs failed to know basic concerns from their voters until it was a disaster. He alleged that chances were very high that some had abandoned their constituencies after being elected into power and would only resurface during elections to seek votes again.

      “If they missed that their voters were not getting medicines at clinics, how can they note the ludicrous expenditure by government?” he asked rhetorically.

      He said such expenditure should be a call to those who are patriotic to be vocal on government expenditure as their MPs were failing them.

      Also joining the fray was Zwelithini Mndzebele, the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) Secretary General, who noted that spending and lack of prioritising in government was the order of the day as those who were voted into office to represent the people failed to echo the cries of the masses.

      He wondered how MPs missed critical issues like the shortage of food and medicines in their constituencies if they were in touch with the people.

      Teachers beat boys on naked buttocks
      Swazi Media Commentary, 4 August 2017
      Boys at a Swaziland school say they are forced to take down their trousers and underpants to allow teachers to beat them on the bare bottom.
      Corporal punishment was abolished in Swazi schools in 2015.
      The pupils at Salesian High, a Catholic school, say they are beaten with a plank.
      The Times of Swaziland, the only independent daily newspaper in the kingdom, reported on Wednesday (2 August 2017) that parents and children had reported the incidents.
      The newspaper said, ‘Some of the disgruntled pupils alleged their teachers caned them on their buttocks using a plank and a piece of piping that is used to connect the big gas cylinders to stoves.’
      One parent was reported saying, ‘I saw my child while he was inside the bathroom and he was badly scarred. When I asked him what had happened, he told me that he had been whipped at school by one of the teachers. He further advised me not to go to the school as he feared being victimised or sent home.

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