MAN DE­MANDS E5m FROM GOVT FOR WRONG­FUL AR­REST

Swazi Observer - - NATIONAL NEWS - By Sandile Nkam­bule

HE al­legedly spent three years in jail with­out trial after be­ing sus­pected of car theft re­lated charges, caught Tu­ber­cu­lo­sis (TB) while in cus­tody, he is now su­ing gov­ern­ment, de­mand­ing a sum of E5 mil­lion as com­pen­sa­tion.

Ce­lani Sha­bangu, who is claim­ing these funds for un­law­ful ar­rest, is also claim­ing amongst oth­ers loss of earn­ings, fu­ture earn­ings, med­i­cal ex­penses, defama­tion and con­tu­melia.

Yes­ter­day, he was led in ev­i­dence by his lawyer, se­nior lawyer Sa­belo Ma­suku be­fore Judge Mumcy Dlamini.

The to­tal amount claimed by Sha­bangu is E5 164 200 which cov­ers all the above claims as bro­ken down in his par­tic­u­lars of claim.

Led in ev­i­dence by Ma­suku, Sha­bangu told the court that he was at his rented flat at Mobeni South in Mba­bane in De­cem­ber 1999 when one of his ac­quain­tances came to him and asked for a E400 loan which he did not have.

Sha­bangu told the Court that he ad­vised Well­man Langa (ac­quain­tance) and one Ny­oni that the per­son who could give them the money was Nh­lanhla Dlamini, and he led them to him where they left a video cam­era and a car ra­dio as surety.

After hav­ing left, Sha­bangu said he was vis­ited by mem­bers of the Royal Eswa­tini Po­lice Ser­vice (REPS) from Manzini un­der the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Depart­ment (CID) who asked him about the video cam­era and car ra­dio and in turn led them to Nh­lanhla’s place but could not find him.

He al­leged that the po­lice ad­vised him to come to the Manzini po­lice sta­tion when he had got hold of Nh­lanhla, who resided in Matsapha and hand over the two items. In­deed the fol­low­ing day, he al­leged that he got hold of him and took the items to the po­lice sta­tion.

“The fol­low­ing day the po­lice came to my place and asked me to lead them to Nh­lanhla’s place in Matsapha, but along the way we drove past Matsapha straight to the po­lice sta­tion, where they ar­rested and for­mally charged me with the of­fence of car theft ar­gu­ing that I was con­ceal­ing both Langa and Nh­lanhla’s where­abouts,” he sub­mit­ted.

Sha­bangu told the court that since his ar­rest in 1999, he had been ap­pear­ing for re­mand, un­til March 2003 on his date of trial, where he was ap­proached by the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cers who wanted to make him an ac­com­plice wit­ness in the mat­ter.

“I re­fused to be made a wit­ness and in­formed the of­fi­cers that I was ready for my trial as I had come for same and pro­ceeded to ap­pear be­fore Prin­ci­pal Mag­is­trate Selby Gama, who after hear­ing my case ac­quit­ted and dis­charged me on car theft charges,” Sha­bangu told the court. He said he is su­ing the po­lice for the time he lost while in jail and be­ing al­legedly in­fected with TB while in cus­tody.

Mean­while, Nh­lanhla Dlamini from the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s of­fice, who was rep­re­sent­ing gov­ern­ment, put it to Sha­bangu dur­ing cross ex­am­i­na­tion that the po­lice will come and give ev­i­dence to the ef­fect that he in­formed them that he (Sha­bangu) had sold the car ra­dio and video cam­era when in­ter­ro­gated. The mat­ter was post­poned to the next ses­sion of the High Court in 2019 for con­tin­u­a­tion of trial as Dlamini is to pa­rade wit­nesses.

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