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MAN ARRESTED FOR FORCEFULLY ENTERING MANZINI CITY CENTRE

By BONGIWE DLAMINI | 2020-04-30

Manzini - À 27-year-old man faced the wrath of the law after he was arrested for unlawfully entering the Manzini city centre without a valid reason.

Christian Gcinwayinkhosi Sigudla of Ngwane Park was arrested on Monday while at the Remand traffic lights, along the Dr. Hynd public road.

He was accused of failing to comply with a police officer’s instruction to go back home as is the case for all motorists and pedestrians entering the Manzini CBD for non-essential purposes. It is said he fled and headed straight for the city after he was told to turn back.

Sigudla was further slapped with a charge for resisting arrest that was effected by an officer of the law. He appeared before Magistrate Sindisiwe Zwane at the Manzini Magistrates Court yesterday. When stating his side of the story, Sigudla told the court that he was going to Manzini to fetch his wife, who is employed at a pharmacy in the city.

He said his wife had called him earlier and reported that she was unwell, so she needed him to come for her. In mitigation, Sigudla claimed that when he defied the police’s order to return home he was compelled to do so by the ill-health of his spouse.

He also stated that the coronavirus had negatively affected him in that as a farmer he cannot do business, so he does not have money. Magistrate Zwane said regardless of the magnitude of the reasons, Sigudla had no right to disrespect the police’s order. She said if the police had allowed him to pass through, it would mean everyone who gave excuses should be allowed to go through to the city.

The magistrate said Sigudla should have found other means to transport his wife from her place of work.

The accused was sentenced to one-year imprisonment with an option of E2 000 fine. In a different incident, one Pelican Maziya (31) of Matsetsa was also arrested for contravening the COVID-19 Regulations of 2020, in that he ferried four passengers instead of three as stated by the guidelines issued by the ministry of public works and transport.

This, according to his charge sheet, resulted to his failure to keep the required social distancing between his passengers.

In mitigation, Maziya told the court that as soon as he was arrested by the police, he ordered one of the passengers to catch public transport. The court was impressed with Maziya’s actions as he showed remorse by letting off the extra passenger. ‘’It seems like you heeded the police officer’s recommendation of not overloading.

Next time, adhere to the guidelines. Ngiyakucolela,’’ Magistrate Zwane said.

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