By Bodwa Mbingo | 2019-12-21
Police have intelligence on state security that has required the conducting of raids at homesteads belonging to political activists and the bringing in for interviews at their stations of these activists who are leaders of different political groupings.
Armed with search warrants, the police conducted the raids at the various homes yesterday morning and already the South African media was abuzz with reports of such incidents throughout the day.
At the height of the investigations, raids and interviews, none of the activists were arrested. This was confirmed by Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) National Commissioner (NatCom) William Tsintsibala Dlamini during a press conference where he also confirmed that they were engaging more individuals to get information from them.
He pointed out that after getting hold of vital information as the police they then act on it. He said that does not necessarily mean that whoever they bring in for an interview is a suspect, but they rely on those individuals to assist them get to the bottom of that particular information.
“We wish to inform members of the public that the police in the course of their routine operations have invited some individuals to assist them in their enquiries pertaining to certain state security information. At this state, we wish to state that no person has been arrested nor detained,” detailed Dlamini.
The national commissioner explained that instead they have engaged these individuals for more information based on what they have on their part. He said raiding various homesteads in general is part of their routine job and by conducting them they are not trying to sabotage or make the life of certain individuals hard, but they are merely protecting the nation. He said had it been through their choice, they would conduct the raids on a daily basis because that is what assists decrease crime throughout the country.
“A lot of Emaswati have expressed appreciation to us for conducting the raids because this assists in protecting them. But in this case these are just investigations where we have decided to engage those we think might be able to assist us with additional information to what we have. We merely visited these individuals at their homes and also invited them for interviews at our stations. That’s all that’s happened.
“We’re taking action on information that is not criminal per se, but one if explained to us by individuals can shed some light. We just ask questions and they answer us. What is key is that no one has been arrested and no one has been detained. All those we have interviewed are now at their respective homes,” he added.
The national commissioner then warned against sentiments that undermine their work and then insinuate that they are out to get certain people as that is not what they are doing. He explained that it is procedural for the police to visit various homesteads to get information and engage anyone for interview without necessarily depicting that those individuals are suspects. He said, however, when they find out that there are criminal elements they then allow the law to take its course.
“We engage just about anyone in the country – whether they are suspects or not. As long as we feel they can assist us with information we engage them. We’re, therefore, grateful to the individuals we have engaged for interviews for coming through to our stations and further allowing us into their homesteads. We’re grateful for their cooperation,” he added.
Cops out to get people that carried distasteful banner
The police are out to get to the bottom of how a distasteful banner during a fateful Public Sector Associations (PSAs) march that was held in Mbabane several weeks ago.
During the march, a banner that carried a hash tag (#) message that will not be repeated for its offensive nature was suddenly brandished in front of the police by some of the marchers, something that then raised eyebrows among some sections of the public how such was allowed to go unpunished by members of the police.
The NatCom explained that, for starters, the police did not allow for the banner to be brandished, but were just caught unawares. He said such has taught them a very big lesson and will never be repeated in the future.
He said the message carried in the banner was not only distasteful in the country, but in other countries because it has not been seen to occur.
“The truth is that we’re investigating the matter. The banner was carried by individuals on the day and the law will take its course. It shows that those people carrying the banner had planned for an opportunity to raise it such that when the police realise the damage the message would have already been disseminated.
“It was a lesson to us and won’t happen ever again.
The police deployed during that march were caught unaware by the situation and they were called to explain this. This is where they explained how it caught them unaware,” said Dlamini.
Dlamini said they were able to stop the same from happening in Manzini as they were very vigilant and managed to take in for talks the young man that was carrying such a banner. He said, however, this is not the end as they would continue with their investigations and get to the bottom of such acts.
Beware of Landela, Boshaya gangs
NatCom William Tsintsibala Dlamini has sent a strong warning to members of the public to be very vigilant this festive season and be wary of the so-called Boshaya and Landela gangs.
He urged people not to be tricked and fall prey to any dubious get-rich quick scheme as the so-called Boshaya are also out in full force at this time.
“The same applies to the so-called Landela Gang, which necessitates that cash security be prioritised by everyone to avoid regret. The tendency of going around with large sums of money is a definite no-no, and should be avoided at all costs. We appeal for responsible behaviour and conduct to prevail throughout the festive holidays, in order to be hedged from any form of crime and accident risk. In particular, we urge people to avoid over-indulging in alcohol. this is moreso as crime and accidents trends continue to portray, that alcohol is more often than not, at the centre of many an incident of violent crime and road carnage,” he stated.
He said they would also be monitoring the operations of drinking establishments and appealed for co-operation from both proprietors and patrons. He further warned about cybercrime as the festive season is already in full swing. “Already, we have scaled up police visibility in all parts of the country, with particular focus being paid to business districts and centres, which are now as would be expected, bustling with activity. For added operational steel and bite, we have roped in contingencies from our special force – the Operational Support Services Unit (OSSU), who have been deployed in all the country’s regions, to complement and shore-up operations on the ground,” added the NatCom.
He said the same verve and robustness is in place on the country’s roads and highways, where the police are all out to see to it that all categories of road users reach their destinations safely. He said they will not tolerate drink-drivers on the roads to avoid fatalities that leave families in distress and the country poorest in productive human capital.
…Condemns violent behaviour by Bangladesh nationals
The police have condemned incidence of violence involving Bangladesh nationals, which culminated in the murder of one of their compatriots at Nhlangano.
Such brazen and horrific acts of violence, said NatCom William Tsintsibala Dlamini, have no place in Eswatini society.
He said they would normally expect that foreign nationals who are in the country on the benevolence of government and Emaswati in general, would do well to abide by the laws of the country, instead of engaging in such wayward antics. “The police have prioritised the investigation into this matter and as we speak, two suspects have already been arrested. We are also following the reports of the existence of a Bangladesh Mafia in the country and will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the truth is unravelled,” he said.
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