By Sifiso Nhlabatsi | 2018-06-05
Three members of the Swaziland Umbutfo Defence Force (USDF) have been arrested after they assaulted and buried a young man of Mbekelweni area alive.
The incident, which has left the community of Mbekelweni area shocked, happened on Saturday morning.
Information gathered from reliable sources is to the effect that the soldiers were enjoying alcoholic beverages at a local watering hole when they decided to call it quits and go home.
It is said they decided to give one of the residents a ride since they were headed in the same direction.
It is said after dropping the resident identified as Thembinkosi Dludlu, one of the soldiers discovered that his phone was missing and he suspected that Dludlu might have stolen it. The soldier is said to have gathered his colleagues the following day and went to Dludlu’s place.
It is said the three soldiers were in the company of another resident when they apprehended Dludlu and assaulted him demanding he gives them the cellphone.
Dludlu is said to have informed his assailants that he does not know anything about a lost phone as he didn’t even see it. The soldiers, however, did not buy Dludlu’s story and continued with the torture that also involved strangling him.
It is said the soldiers then dragged Dludlu into a pit which was dug for a pit latrine and threw him inside and placed a corrugated iron sheet on top.
While Dludlu was trapped inside the pit, the soldiers and the other man had a conversation among themselves as to what they would do with him. It is said some were heard suggesting that they should just live him trapped underneath while another suggested that they set fire on top of the pit with Dludlu underneath.
While the men planned their next course of action, Dludlu’s pastor called on his cellphone which the soldiers had taken and they answered and told the pastor that Dludlu was being interrogated in connection with a cellphone theft. It is said after talking to the pastor the soldiers decided to spare Dludlu’s life, but before they did so they took money amounting to E300 from his pockets before they left him.
Dludlu was later taken to Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital where he was treated and discharged.
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