MANZINI businessman Charles Velaphi Mbingo is suing the police force E3.5 million for unlawful arrest.
In papers filed at the High Court, Mbingo says on October 28, 2011 he was unlawfully arrested by Manzini police, who were acting within the scope of their employment. He alleges that he spent seven nights in police cells despite raising concerns that he was a sick person, who suffered from asthma and hypertension.
Mbingo claims that during the unlawful detention police refused to tell him what he was charged with so that he could plead. He says police severely restricted his movements to the toilet and fresh air or have food outside supplied by his relatives.
“The police further curtailed communication with my relatives to the detriment of my health,” he states. “The police claimed that Magistrate Dumisa Mazibuko (first defendant) had issued a warrant of arrest against me on October 27, 2011 for a contempt of court charge due to non-appearance in court on the said date.”
Mbingo says the said warrant of arrest was issued wrongfully and unlawfully by the first defendant in that no summons were issued and delivered to the plaintiff to warn him to appear in court on that date as the plaintiff was out of the country.
“During the court appearance on the following day, Monday 31st October, 2011 the first defendant being the presiding Magistrate Dumisa Mazibuko verbally refused to grant me bail and stated that he would hear nothing from me as I had embarrassed him by defaulting court appearance,” he claims.
Mbingo says as a direct result of the actions of the magistrate and the police officers, his health seriously deteriorated as he was unable to take medication, resulting in him being taken to the RFM Hospital three times without getting any better.
He claims to have suffered damages in the sum of E3 500 000. Mbingo is being represented by Malinga & Malinga Co. The case is pending at the High Court. Meanwhile, government has not yet filed any papers.
Soldier takes army to court
A soldier has taken the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) to the High Court over unfair dismissal for alleged misconduct.
Makhosonkhe Sihlongonyane, in court papers, says he joined the force on July 4, 2005 until November 2011 and was earning E8 412 .83 per month. He says as a part time hobby, he did weightlifting and participated in competitions.
Sihlongonyane claims to have been part of the army team of weightlifters. He alleges that on July 14, 2009 they were selected to attend a competition in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“As per custom and practice in the army, I was to be given a sum of E10 000 as pocket money and for accommodation whilst attending the one-week competition in South Africa,” he explains.
“I was supposed to receive the money from my overseer in the team and immediate supervisor Lieutenant Simanga Maziya. May I state that instead of giving me the E10 000, he gave me E5 000 for the trip to cater for both accommodation and pocket money.
“When I enquired from Maziya why he was withholding the other half of the money, he falsely accused me of not attending training before the competition, but I refuted that and told him that if I was not attending training prior to the competition, I would not have been selected to participate.”
Sihlongonyane alleges that on his return from South Africa, he reported the issue of short payments. “Maziya, who was my supervisor and I were called to a meeting, where he was asked why he paid me half of my per diem. Maziya informed my superiors that he withheld the other half because he called me and I defied his order by not going to him when he called me as my boss.”
He says on a certain day when he reported for work at Phocweni Army Barracks, he was turned back at the gate. “That took me by surprise because I had access to the camp even before I joined the army and had been training there with Lieutenant Maziya,” he states.
“I asked why I was not permitted entry as a soldier in the said barracks. The officer said it was an order that he had just received and ordered me to park outside and call my girlfriend to the gate as I would not be allowed inside.”
Sihlongonyane is being represented by Mandla Mkhwanazi and the case is pending in court.