Fresh evidence is emerging that democracy activist Sipho Jele was murdered in jail and did not commit suicide as the Swaziland state claims.
Jele’s aunt Diana Jele, a retired nurse, says when she saw his body on the day he died his face was badly swollen and blood had come from his nostrils
The Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper, reports Diana Jele saying, ‘From what I know a person who hangs himself doesn’t bleed from the nose.’
Diana Jele also said that the blanket with which Jele is said to have used to hang himself was too loose to form a noose that could kill a person.
She also told the Times that Jele did not soil himself as was the case with people who had hung themselves in her experience as a nurse.
The Times reports she said there was ‘supposed to be something like a chair for Jele to stand on for him to be able to get the blanket around his neck yet this cannot be found in prison’.
A postmortem has been scheduled to determine Jele’s cause of death.
Diana Jele told the Times, ‘I don’t believe he committed suicide. His body was okay except for his face which was badly swollen and blood coming out of his nose. That he committed suicide isn’t believable. Even the blanket he’s said to have hung himself with can’t kill a person.’
Jele was arrested for wearing a PUDEMO T-shirt.