The Swaziland democracy activist arrested and charged with sedition after he criticised King Mswati III, the absolute monarch, said he was tortured by police.
Ncamiso Ngcamphalala said he almost died after he was tied with a rope to a bench and suffocated with a plastic bag for nearly three hours at Mafutseni police station.
Ngcamphalala, the Economic Freedom Fighters of Swaziland President, told Swati Newsweek, a news website, ‘I could not breathe for nearly three hours. I urinated and fainted as the close to 25 cops tortured me both physical and emotional.’
He also made some of his allegations in documents sent to the Swazi High Court.
He told Swati Newsweek, ‘They tied me with a rope and assaulted me with open hands. They then came with gloves they used when suffocating me whilst they covered my face with a plastic bag.’
Ngcamphalala was arrested after he was quoted in a report on Swati Newsweek saying, ‘We want government to change people’s lives, the Swazi Monarchy must know its place. We respect the King, but respect is earned and when pushed into a corner; we will be forced to retaliate. We unapologetically stand for multi-party democracy.’
Eugene Dube, the editor of Swati Newsweek, escaped police capture when they tried to arrest him for publishing the report. He left the kingdom to stay in South Africa.
Ngcamphalala has since been released on bail. A date for his trial has not been set.
In March 2020 Swaziland journalist and former government cabinet minister Mfomfo Nkambule said he was tortured by police after he wrote articles critical of King Mswati for the online newspaper Swaziland News.
In an interview he told the newspaper that police raided his home and seized electronic gadgets. He said he was taken to Manzini police regional headquarters where he was harassed and tortured.
He told the Swaziland News, ‘They tortured me saying I risk being charged with high treason and under the terrorism law.’ He said police complained about articles he wrote critical of the political system.
Also in March 2020 the editor of Swaziland News Zweli Martin Dlamini told the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s Media Monitor programme that police raided his home after he published articles in his newspaper. He said police tied him up and suffocated him with a plastic bag.
He was speaking from South Africa and said he feared returning to Swaziland.
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