Saturday, May 8, 2010


The Swazi News, an independent newspaper in Swaziland, says the family of Sipho Jele, the democracy activist found dead in jail, have refused an offer by the Swazi government to have his body examined by their own doctor.

Jele’s aunt, Juliet Sipho, said the police ‘must not dare touch our son’s body’. The family want an independent examination made of Jele’s body.

Here is the Swazi News report in full.


PUDEMO man’s family reject govt doctor

8 May 2010

MBABANE –Family of the late PUDEMO member Sipho Jele, 37, turned down an offer by government to have his body examined by a government doctor in the absence of their own pathologist.

An aunt to the late, Juliet, said Manzini police asked them to come to their offices so that they could go and have an autopsy performed on the late Sipho.

“Police from Manzini came and told us that a government doctor was ready to perform tests on the late Sipho but we told them that they must not dare touch our son’s body. We told them as a family we want to have our own doctor to perform an autopsy. Our position is quite clear and we have not moved from what the family resolved so we will only see them when we go to them with our doctor and lawyer but we will not be going there to negotiate,” said Jele.


She said they were now waiting for instruction from the family lawyer Leo Gama on when they will be going to Manzini.

When sought for comment, Gama said it was true that his clients resolved to have their own pathologist and his office yesterday wrote a letter to the office of Police Commissioner Isaac Magagula and the office of the Attorney General Majahankhaba Dlamini.

“I have since written a letter to the office of the Attorney General and the office of the Police Commissioner. In this letter I was formalising my clients’ desire to have their own pathologist who will be paid by them. At the moment we are finalising arrangements of bringing one and that person may come from neighbouring South Africa or from any other country depending where we will get that. The only pathologist available in the country is the one from the police force so we are looking beyond the borders of the country,” said Gama.

Jele is a former employee of the now defunct Usuthu Pulp Company, and a long serving member of the Swaziland Youth Congress and PUDEMO. He was amongst 16 activists who were allegedly linked to a spate of bombings in 2006.

According to a press statement issued by the Johannesburg based Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN), Jele died while out on bail for that charge.


Lucky Lukhele said the 16 were each released on E15 000 bail while some had to put property as surety. For the past four years the suspects were ordered to report to the nearest police station once in two months.

During that arrest Jele alleged that he was assaulted such that his ears developed hearing difficulty.


In 2006 he was to stand trial following the state’s charging him with treason. Police have allegedly told his aunt that he committed suicide. Sipho’s aunt has dismissed those allegations that he ended his life.

“Sipho was brought up by me so not even once had he showed withdrawal signs which might lead him to commit suicide. Sipho was a person who spent most his time reading his books and watching football,” added Jele.

Police PRO Vusi Masuku said the family was at liberty to procure the services of an independent pathologist but that person must be registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Swaziland.

“As police we have no problem with the family having an independent pathologist. However, the autopsy will have to be conducted jointly with the government pathologist and they have to compile their reports, the autopsy would be part of the investigation,” said Masuku.

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