20 September 2008
All was well at the Lavumisa border
By BRIAN MOHAMMED
LAVUMISA- Heavy security ensured free flow of traffic at Lavumisa border gate.
Arriving at the gate at around 7:30am yesterday this publication saw three South African registered trucks entering the country without any disturbances.
This was despite the fact that local unions had announced that they would be staging blockades on all major border gates.
On this side of the country there was none of such and this was also confirmed by the South African Police Service, Golela Post Commander Mponsthane who told this publication that they did not expect any protest action in the area as there was no instrument allowing COSATU members to stage a protest action anywhere next to Golela/Pongola.
"We have only received correspondence that permission was only granted for the Mpumalanga Province," he said.
A few minutes after the interview a white kombi was stopped by members of the Royal Swaziland Police Service at a roadblock mounted 800m from the border and it emerged that it had members of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) led by their mouthpiece Sphasha Dlamini.
This did not go down well with the officers at the roadblock who ordered the kombi to make a u-turn to where it had taken the group. At first Dlamini and her fellow comrades resisted the order but later obliged.
Immediately as the kombi left the area it was closely followed by a blue police van.
A few minutes later another kombi registered SD 672 MS was stopped at the roadblock and likewise it was discovered that it also had a group of would-be – protesters, which unlike the other was told to offload its passengers and make a u-turn to Matata in Big Bend while the passengers were questioned by the members of the police service.
Mad cow cop at Ngwenya
BY SWAZI NEWS REPORTER
NGWENYA- An overzealous police officer manhandled a journalist who was doing his job during the ‘operation combat the blockade’.
The mad cow officer was trying hard probably to gain recognition from the promoting authority from his place of work obviously to save him from the misery of being a junior police officer.
He almost broke the Swazi News camera as he tried but in vain to prevent this newspaper from taking pictures of the apprehended SWAYOCO President Wandile Dludlu.
He tried grabbing the camera but he failed and he started shouting all sort of unprintable words to our reporter.
The mad cow cop attracted attention when he threatened Dludlu, stating that he was ready to use force if he refused to get into a police car.
Earlier on he had tried to prevent freelance journalist, Lunga Masuku from proceeding to Ngwenya. He mistook him for the protesters.
The cop showed signs of being bloodthirsty and it was unfortunate for him that no one was up for a fight against him thus moving around causing some uncalled for confrontations.
Bogus pregnancies by some protesters
LAVUMISA: Some female protesters disguised as pregnant women in order to evade police interrogation.
This trend was noticed at Lavumisa where a group of disguising female protesters was caught by cops on their tracks when they were found to be amongst those in one of the kombis destined for Lavumisa Border gate.
Even though police were not concerned with the state the people who were boarding the kombis were in, they were only watchful of separating innocent members of the public from the protesters.
One of the women who had a visible bulging stomach when asked by the officers as to where she was destined to became arrogant and only told the officers she was travelling but does not know her destination.
Upon realising that this woman was part of those planning to stage a protest action the police decided to isolate her from the group while others where being questioned about their planned action.
Some of the women who had planned to take part in the protest when interviewed, pleaded with this publication not to identify them but confirmed that they normally wrap clothes with a kanga modelling a ball, which is then inserted under their t-shirts.
"Even if the police beat you when they realise that you are pregnant they don’t become too aggressive," one of the protesters revealed.
Teargas used at Mahamba
MAHAMBA- Close to 50 Shiselweni textile factory workers were sprayed with teargas and bashed by a joint group of OSSU members and Correctional department officers.
The group comprised female Zheng Yong staff members who left Nhlangano town centre in three buses and two kombis headed for Mahamba border to stage a blockade at around 9am.
As one of the buses was stopped at a roadblock mounted a kilometre from the border, the protesters started singing and were ordered to alight from the bus before police issued an instruction to the driver to take all his passengers back to town as they were not allowed to stage any protest anywhere near the border.
It was gathered that upon realising that the group was not heeding the orders, the police are reported to have fired numerous teargas canisters.
When reached for comment Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) deployee in the Shiselweni region Wonder Mkhonza confirmed the attack on the protesters.
"We don’t know how many of the comrades were injured but we are still compiling a report as some of them are still being treated," he said.
Cops kill blockade at Ngwenya
MBABANE-Security forces led by the police prevented hundreds of labour and political formations workers from crossing into South Africa where they were to attend a boarder blockade.
The police who were at the boarder as early as 5 am made it a point that none of the known political activists crossed into South Africa to join COSATU on the boarder blockade.
The workers were apprehended and taken into police vans and scattered all over the country, in a desperate bid to make it a point that they do not assembly.
Others were dumped in Mbabane, others in some forests at Nkhaba while their leaders were taken on a six-hour hell ride across the country.
The police had mounted a robust roadblock just before Ngwenya. They were forcing everyone out of their cars, demanding to know their destinations.
PUDEMO President, Mario Masuku was driven back to his house by the police who also sold him the same story that they were protecting him.
SWAYOCO President, Wandile Dludlu felt the wrath of an overzealous police who grabbed him shortly after alighting from the kombi and forced him into a police sedan.