Mail & Guardian

&25 YEARS AGO

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Police have been accused of physically torturing a community activist and his relatives in northern Kwazulu-natal with rubber tubes and electric shocks.

The activist, Kevin Kunene, was hospitalis­ed with internal injuries and a burst eardrum. Kunene is founding chairperso­n of the Kwambonamb­i Environmen­tal Group.

He says his injuries were caused by policemen from the Umfolozi public order policing division (previously known as the internal stability unit), whom he says, abducted him and three relatives late last month from their homes at 2am, beginning a 14-hour ordeal.

“They took me out of bed in Esikhawini [a township outside Empangeni] and started torturing me with a big rubber tube they put over your face so you suffocate,” said Kunene.

Kunene said the police then shunted the four men between several places in a police bakkie and Nyala, alternatel­y beating, kicking and rubber-tubing them. “They told me today is my last day — that I’m going to die. They said they wanted to know who I am giving weapons to. They say they know I’ve stolen weapons,” explained Kunene. — Mail & Guardian, 22 to 28 March 1996

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