21 September 2011
Stoned police chief draws gun
MBABANE – Regional Commander Richard Mngomezulu drew his gun and went head to head with protesters yesterday after he was pelted with a stone.
The drama unfolded at the Mbabane Bus Rank near the public toilets.
It all started after the rioters set alight and burnt some cardboards and crates that they found abandoned by vendors.
They chanted political slogans before burning these items. This happened while a contingent of 10 armed police officers was standing at a distance monitoring the situation.
The mini-confrontation started when these officers went towards the crowd in a bid to put out the fire.
As Mngomezulu led the officers towards the crowd, one of the operators threw a stone that hit the commander on the leg.
This action by the protesters seemed to have angered Mngomezulu who then drew his side firearm and charged straight at the crowd threatening to shoot if they continued with their unruly behaviour.
Mngomezulu demanded to see the person who threw the stone.
Officers from Operational Support Service Unit (OSSU) joined Mngomezulu and prepared their armour for an attack.
Sensing a confrontation, some operators and onlookers ran for cover thinking that teargas canister would be fired.
However, that did not happen.
Other police officers tried to assist Mngomezulu in identifying the person who threw the stone but that was an exercise in futility. A female officer, who claimed to have seen the culprit, was spotted pointing at one operator among the crowd.