Cops watch as journalist brutally assaulted
A Channel S television reporter got more than he had bargained for when he was attacked and brutally assaulted by two men while bemused police allegedly watched helplessly.
Mxolisi Dlamini suffered severe injuries after he was attacked while conducting his duties at Mbikwakhe area under Kwaluseni Inkhundla in the Manzini region.
He was attacked by two men whose state of sobriety was questionable and assaulted with kicks and fists all over the body, in front of police officers who allegedly laughed at him as one of them remarked “bayakulaya lokwa Mxolisi, kuyedzelela” (Mxolisi must be sorted out).
Eye witnesses say he was bleeding profusely from the nostrils and briefly lost consciousness as the uncompromising men beat the daylights out of him.
Dlamini, who had visible injuries on the head, the eyes in particular, said he was beaten for no apparent reason.
He related that his only sin was to ask for directions while conducting investigations on an assault case around the area.
“We received a call that some people had been stabbed after a bar brawl at Mbikwakhe area and we proceeded to where the incident occurred. While driving, we found a police van and some police officers at a certain homestead and we went to ask for directions. We approached two men who were visibly drunk and enquired about the incident and that was when they began to ask some questions on why we were interested on the matter we were asking about,” Mxolisi relived the terrible incident.
He said suddenly the two men pounced on him without any warning or preview and he screamed for help.
“They began to assault me with fists and kicks. I fell down and they kicked me hard on the stomach. I screamed for help and ran towards the direction of the police officers who were in the vicinity.
To my surprise and disgust, they just laughed and continued with their duties. One of them even shouted and remarked that I got what I deserved (ngilayekile),” said Dlamini in between sobs. Dlamini said he still could not believe what befell him, particularly when law enforcement officers failed to protect him from the assailants.
“The attackers left me for dead writhing in pain. The police did absolutely nothing to stop them and I am very disappointed,” he lamented.
He said he then went to report the matter at Sigodvweni police station where he opened an assault case. Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Superintendent Wendy Hleta confirmed the matter in a telephonic interview on Friday. She could not, however, confirm whether or not police were there while the reporter was being assaulted.
“Yes we are aware of that matter and Sigodvweni police are investigating its circumstances. Mxolisi was indeed assaulted and the assailant was arrested and charged by the police and later released because he was bereaved. However, I will not get into the merits of the case as it will be decided in court.