Sunday 2020-11-01

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CABINET OFFICER’S SON (17) BRUTALLY ASSAULTED FOR ‘FRAUD’

By Mbono Mdluli | 2020-10-18

A teenage boy (17) was brutally assaulted for allegedly trying to defraud a shebeen king in Manzini.

The youngster was said to have been beaten up by community police in Fairview, Manzini and the incident allegedly happened in the wee hours of yesterday morning. The teenage boy’s identity will not be revealed as he is still a minor.

He attends one of the private high schools in the country. The boy is said to have been with three others when the incident happened. The youngsters are said to have tricked the shebeen king into believing that they had paid him E4 000 by sending fake FNB e-wallet messages to his cellphone.

The fake e-wallet messages were allegedly made to fool the shebeen king into believing that they had paid him, only to find that the money was not paid. The boys are said to have bought alcohol  with E1 000 on credit on three separate occasions, which totalled E3 000.

On the fourth instance, the boys are said to have approached the shebeen king and asked  for  E1 000 to fix their car, which had developed mechanical faults. They promised to pay the money through e-wallet.  When he discovered that the money was not there, the shebeen king called the community police and the boys were nabbed and allegedly thoroughly beaten.

The teenager’s father, Charles Hlatjwako confirmed that his son was beaten by the community police in Manzini. “The child was beaten for committing fraud by swindling money from a shebeen king by sending fake e-wallet messages, only for the businessman to find no money when withdrawing at the FNB Auto Teller Machine (ATM),” Hlatjwako said.

Hlatjwako, who works at the Cabinet Offices in Mbabane, admitted that his son was wrong to have committed the crime he is said to have committed. However, he expressed concern in the manner the punishment was administered on his teenage boy, saying it was dangerous.

Beatings

He said the community police were 10 in number, and took turns in beating up the four teenage boys. He described it as a kangaroo style of punishment.

Hlatjwako believes that the administration of justice should be done in a way that would not put lives of other people in danger. He said since people were capable of using technological methods to commit crime, Eswatini should also strive to find punitive measures that matched the technological methods to commit crime.

Hlatjwako said he went to the police station in Manzini, where he recorded statements. After recording these statements, Hlatjwako took his son to a private clinic in Manzini for medical attention. However, he also had to take his son to the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial (RFM) Hospital for more medical tests.

He said he did this because he needed some medical records to use when taking legal action against those who inflicted such severe injuries on his son’s body.

Consequences

He said his son had to face his consequences for the alleged crime he committed, but those who brutally assaulted him should not be spared.

He said the way his son was punished was illegal.

He said what was problematic was that it seemed as if police brutality was on the rise yet it put lives at risk. He said his child was admitted and was at risk of losing out on the ongoing examinations at his school.

He said it was disturbing that the incident comes after National Commissioner of Police William Tsitsibala Dlamini rebuked the police brutality administered on citizens.

“It is unfortunate that hardly a week after he said that, we have this case in front of us,” he said.

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