Monday, September 28, 2020

UB Security personnel involved in alleged torture acts

Nurses at Princess Marina Hospital have advised a first-year student at the University of Botswana (UB) to undergo an x-ray examination after he showed signs of head injuries and bruised swellings from alleged beatings by the UB security crew.

A case against the alleged assault has been filed with the Central Police Station in Gaborone and will be treated as a criminal case.

The Acting Station Commander of Central Police Station, Lebalang Maniki, confirmed that Richard Khumoekae, the assaulted student, had lodged a complaint at the police station and that a docket had been opened, adding that investigations into the allegations are now in progress.

Word reaching the Sunday Standard is that security crews have been ordered by management to search and identify culprits who were involved in the four-day strike that led to vandalisation of school property.
According to some eyewitnesses, when the vandalisation broke out, one of the security guards was heavily beaten by students who claimed that he was always spying on them at meetings and demonstrations.

According to a student, a security guard who allegedly called himself Joseph approached him at the Student Hall on a Tuesday after the school had reopened.

“The man asked me to step outside for a few minutes because he had something he wanted to ask me; there was another man waiting.

The man just started firing away telling the other man how he was sure that I was the one who threw concrete stones at him during his alleged assault on February 4th, and I stood there mortified by the accusations,” said Khumoekae.

He revealed that this was when he realized the casually-clothed men were from the UB security. The men had then allegedly escorted him to the security offices.

Upon reaching the premises, the security boss was called and updated as to who the student was.
The security boss is said to have hurled insults at the student, calling him a fool and asking him why he choose to involve himself in illegal acts like striking.

He is said to have uttered, “I know school kids are stupid, so you did it and you shall admit to the offence.”

After some time, the guards took the student to the Central Police Station where they began looking for one police officer in particular.

“We were then taken through a door written ‘CID Officer- in- Charge’, I was asked to sit outside while they were involved in a discussion, this went on for about an hour,” said Khumoekae.

The student was then taken back to the school without briefing and asked to report back the next day without fail.
His efforts to find out about the consultation proved futile.
According to Khumoekae, his alibi is strong and efforts to place him at the scene of the guard’s beating were unfounded as his timetable even places him in a biology lesson at that time.
He, however, does not deny joining the protesting students at the Hall as he is one of the students who are living off campus and receiving only a meager P150.

The next day, he said, the guards interrogated him immensely.
“After back and forth arguments, the security boss, Tsogang, lost his temper and hit me with a fist, first on the left side of my head and then on my shoulders. At this point, Joseph joined in and told me he was going to revenge. He pressed my head between his legs and told me they were going to beat me in places no one would notice,” said Khumoekae.

After some time, he was released and that is when he met a prominent ruling party candidate who saw his bruises and took him to Student Welfare. The person in charge had then visited the security offices and had a discussion with the officers, after that it was agreed that the student shouldn’t reveal any event of what happened.

The security management denied any involvement in such a case while the accused boss was said to be in court at the time.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.