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Swazi police leave magician to die in street


Mbabane – Swazi police were on Friday accused of dumping a seriously-injured popular Swazi magician on the street and left to die.

Eyewitnesses said that the magician was dumped by two police officers in the middle of a Mbabane township road in the early hours of Wednesday, and left to die.

Mduduzi Gama was later pronounced dead at the scene by medical authorities.

“While he was on the ground, he was screaming and asking to be helped up. I was worried that he would get cold and that he would be hit by passing cars so I asked some men to move him to the other side of the road,” said a woman vendor quoted by the Swazi media.

The incident occurred shortly before 5 a.m. Witnesses saw two uniformed male police officers remove Gama from a police van.

One of the officers reportedly told Gama that this was his stop. Witnesses who then came to assist Gama described seeing a bloody head wound.

“The police left him in a sleeping position, but he on several occasions attempted to sit up but failed. It was apparent that he had been thoroughly beaten,” a witness told the Swazi Observer newspaper.

What role the police officers may have had in Gama’s injuries is not known.

The Royal Swaziland Police Force (RSPF) has been accused by human rights organisations of using torture to elicit confessions.

Last year, the Mozambique government intervened after a Mozambican national died while undergoing interrogation by police in Manzini.

Family members said Gama was not in trouble with the law.
In an interview with the Swazi Observer, Gama’s father, Sidumu Gama, questioned the police actions.

“We want to know where they picked him up and what state he was found in. If they claim he was already bleeding we want to know why they did not take him to hospital instead of leaving him in the cold to die alone,” Gama said.

The RSPF in a statement said it did not know the identities of the two policemen who were witnessed dumping Gama’s body. (ANA/NAN)

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