Thursday, February 11, 2010


Comrades, it is with great regret that we announce that it has since got to our attention that one of the students who was arrested yesterday has since been charged with Terrorism and will tomorrow appear at the High Court. Cde Sicelo Vilane, a journalism student at Citec College (the exact name of the college has not yet be confirmed), was one of the people who converged at the Manzini city centre as part of the student protesters and was abducted and tortured.

He says that he was carrying a camera to take pictures of the event in order to give the Times offices, particularly a journalist he works closely with. He told me from his jail cell (I was one of the first people to visit him yesterday) at the Manzini police station that he took pictures of police torturing and tormenting Pius Vilakati, UNISWA President, and while going back to take more pictures of other students one police officer followed him and grabbed him from behind and demanded that he delete the pictures. He was taken to the police headquarters in Manzini where he was tortured while being asked why he was taking the pictures. He told them that he was working closely with a Times journalist, Joseph Zulu, and wanted to give him the pictures.

The police then phoned Zulu and inquired if he knew Cde Sicelo and he responded to the affirmative. He was then searched and a SWAYOCO card bearing his name was found. He was then tortured viciously and then charged with contravening Section 19 (1) (b) of the Terrorism Act. Today he spent the entire day at the police station and no efforts was made that he be taken to court even though according to law suspects must have appeared before a Magistrate by at least 48 hours of their arrest. Owing to the many comrades that were abducted and tortured yesterday, we could not trace the comrade's whereabouts only to get to know today. Even though the comrade has been arrested and tortured viciously, police have not made efforts to contact his parents to inform them of his arrest and we had to call them late after lunch today to alert them that their son had been arrested.


Maxwell Dlamini, SNUS National Organising Secretary,
+268 653 3564

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