Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Swaziland police shoot, kill epileptic man after family ask for help getting him to hospital

Swaziland (eSwatini) police officers shot a man with epilepsy in the neck at close range, killing him. 

His family had called police to help transport him to hospital for treatment. The killing happened in front of the family and neighbours.

The man was named by the Times of eSwatini Sunday as Makhenikha Mkhwanazi, aged 54, and a father of six.

His family want to know why police used live bullets on him.

It happened at the family home at Mdabula, Hlatikhulu, on 27 December 2019.

The Times reported, ‘The family has argued that the deceased was a known patient to the police and it was not the first time they were called to transport him for treatment after exhibiting violent behaviour. He was suffering from epilepsy.’

A police spokesperson told the Times the shot was fired in an attempt to scare the deceased who had become too violent, but the bullet accidentally went in his neck.

Police in Swaziland have a long history of shooting to kill. In July 2019 police were criticised in local media for shooting dead three men who escaped from Big Bend Correctional Facility. They were hiding in a rondavel in a homestead at Manyeveni, near Mpaka. 

There are several police shootings every year in Swaziland and not all of them relate to criminals.

In 2012 police shot a 34-year-old mentally disturbed man seven times, killing him. They had been called to a disturbance at his home at Lubulini. The man’s family said they had trouble controlling him and asked for police assistance in getting him to a hospital.

See also

New ‘shoot-to-kill’ fear as Swaziland police gun down three suspects as they flee

Police killing, family demand answers

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