Police in Swaziland threatened to beat-up a student leader when he visited a police station to check on students who had been arrested during a university protest.
The incident was captured on voice recorder and details published in a national newspaper.
It happened on Friday (8 September 2017) at Malkerns police station.
Sibusiso Siyaya, President of the student representative council at the University of Swaziland, had gone to the station to check on eight students who had been detained after a class boycott.
Siyaya made a phone call while in the reception area of the police station and the call was recorded.
The Sunday Observer newspaper reported (10 September 2017) many voices of police officers can be heard on the tape. At one point a policeman asks Siyaya, ‘Why are you here? What do you want here? Who called you? We will beat you,’
The newspaper reported, ‘[V]oices of a group of people believed to be police officers hurl all sorts of insults and ridicule him. The upper voice heard is believed to be that of a male police officer who hurls a vernacular insult directed to Siyaya that cannot be repeated for ethical reasons.’
Siyaya was arrested and charged at the station with obstructing police in the course of their duty. He appeared at magistrates court the following day and was released on bail of E2,000 (US$150). In Swaziland, seven in ten people are so poor they have incomes of less than US$2 a day.
SWAZI STUDENT LEADERS ARRESTED
PROTESTS CLOSE SWAZILAND UNIVERSITY