Indeed, the DPP was now in on the conspiracy. In terms of the law, the DPP had no power to decide to send Jele to Sidvwashini or any institution on her own. This decision is for the courts to take and only the courts can decide. Yet, she flirted with the idea.
Given that she foresaw the possibility that a judge would not be available, she did have the option and the power to release Jele and tell him to return the next day. Why did this option not occur to her? Why did she not consider it given that she knew at that time she had him in custody illegally?
In the event, a judge was found at 5pm, as Methula stated at the inquest. He said the deceased “particularly asked against being remanded back to the custody of the police, and asked to be taken to the Sidvwashini Correctional Institution.”
It is incredible that the DPP had an epiphany at 4.30pm that Jele may ask to be remanded at Sidvwashini Correctional Institution. Or was it just a coincidence?
Methula told the inquest that Jele told the judge “that he was afraid that police would kill him.” The inquest report shows that the DPP explained that “she then took it upon herself to phone the authorities at correctional services to ensure that even if by that time, as it was then after 5pm, they had locked the prison doors they should open to receive the deceased to ensure compliance with the court order.”
It is instructive to note, from the inquest report, that Jele expressed his fear of the police at the end of his remand, long after the DPP had made the application for him to be remanded at Sidvwashini. “When the deceased was now before the learned Lord Justice of the High Court later that day, the DPP made application for his remand to the Sidvwashini Correctional centre. When the learned judge had explained to the deceased his rights to legal representation and to be admitted to bail he then ordered his remand to Sidvwashini.”
Continues the report: “When the learned judge was about to leave the court the deceased raised his hand and the judge assumed his seat again. “The deceased then asked that he be taken to Sidvwashini because the police had threatened to tube him.
“The judge then set him at ease and assured him that that was his order, which she (DPP) said to have been her application anyway.”
This part of the report seeks to portray the DPP as some Mother Theresa who cared for and sought to protect the young man. Says the report: “The DPP explained that when the deceased mentioned about (sic) the threat to be tubed she was relieved that such a thing (tubing) had not happened and she then personally made sure that she personally calls Sidvwashini to ensure that the court order is followed to the letter.”
This part of the evidence is extremely puzzling. If Jele had already been remanded to Sidvwashini, why did he ask specifically to be taken there after a court order had been made to that effect? How did the DPP know before hand that it made sense to take Jele to Sidvwashini instead of the Zakhele Remand Centre in Manzini, the city where the deceased had been arrested in the first place?
We can only guess that Jele sought to bring up the request to Sidvwashini even though he was going there in order to alert the court to the tubing.
Could it be that the DPP already had enough reason to believe that this young man’s life was in danger having spent the previous four hours with him? Remember, he was brought to her at 1pm and he only saw the judge at 5pm. We don’t know from the report the identity of the judge who remanded Jele on that fateful day.
We can only wonder why he did not interrogate Jele on the request to be taken to Sidvwashini when he had already made a ruling on the matter. As stated, when Jele appeared in court, he was now detained illegally. The judge would have known this from the papers before him. He could have asked the DPP why this man had been in custody for the two days and could have asked Jele himself where he had been all this time and the events in the period between his arrest and his appearance in court.
There is a telling exposition to this time period in the inquest report itself. In his evidence, Methula said on May 02, the day after the arrest, he took out all inmates detained at the Manzini Police Station to check their health condition and prepare them for court hearings. Jele, however, was the exception.
The coroner says of Methula: “In respect to the deceased he further took some time with him, about 3-4 hours, going through the documents that were retrieved from his (deceased’s) home during the search.” We know that Jele never made it to court on the May 02 (it was a Sunday by the way) but we are not told what happened to him during the next 20 hours of that day, if we allow Methula the full four hours he claims to have spent with him.
There is the added 13 hours or so unaccounted for in Jele’s life on May 03. Counting from midnight to 1pm on the 3rd, we are not told where he was all that time. We know from the inquest report that on the morning of May 03 his aunt requested Ntokozo Dlamini “to send some clothes for the deceased, but Dlamini was not able to give those clothes to him, neither was he able to meet him,” the coroner reports.
This, the same man who was later to appear in court at 5pm and claim he was afraid of being tubed and whose life had been threatened. A man whose impending danger the DPP had seen through a vision and sought to save.
It is also puzzling why the judge never tried to satisfy himself that, in fact, the charges against Jele made sense. Is wearing a t-shirt in this country against the law? Does being found with a membership card that has expired make you a member of that organization in the eyes of the law and is it illegal to be one? Was the search at Jele’s home legal?
In the event, the judge and DPP processed Jele like a factory commodity and sent him to his death at Sidvwashini Correctional Institution.
(Next month: The lies, conspiracy and ultimate cover up at Sidvwashini Correctional Institute)
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