WOZA arrests: Babies and women still in custody( 15-02-07)

Bulawayo:131 members remain in custody in Bulawayo
for a second night. The 36 released into the custody of their
lawyers once again have been allowed to return to
their homes having spent the day at Bulawayo Central.
Initial reports from one lawyer indicated that there<

BR>were 274 in custody but the figure from another lawyer
was 174 members that were arrested. This figure
includes 17 juveniles, 20 mothers with babies and
three pregnant women.

Only seven of the group are being charged under
Chapter 37, Section (2) of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act – ‘participating in a
gathering with intent to promote public violence, a
breach of the peace or bigotry is committed whether
the action constituting it is spontaneous or planned
in advance, and whether the place or meeting where it
occurred is public or private.’ These seven being the
only ones that arresting officers were prepared to
come forward to testify against. The rest of the
group, including Magodonga Mahlangu, are not being
charged and at 4 pm today, police dealing with the
case agreed that they should be released. The head of
the Law and Order Section at Bulawayo Central, G
Ndlovu, refused to allow them to go home tonight
however, insisting that they only be released in the
morning after the seven had appeared in court – the
lives of 124 people made miserable by the petty whim
of one individual.

Magodonga Mahlangu remains isolated from the rest of
the group as Law and Order officers have resisted
attempts to have her moved back to join others,
arguing that as a leader of WOZA, Mahlangu ‘deserves
the dignity of having a cell to herself’ – having an
entire police station to herself does seem a little
excessive however! Concerns for her safety continue
whilst she remains in solitary confinement.

Members in Queens Park are still being denied
medication – please call Queens Park Station on +263 9
22641/2 to demand that those taking ARV treatment be
allowed to take their medication.

The eight women arrested in Harare yesterday and held
at Harare Central overnight are out of custody having
paid admission of guilt fines early this evening. The
women complained of terrible and inhumane conditions
in the cells and having been beaten in custody.
Attempts are still being made to ascertain exactly
what happened in Harare Central and more information
will be given when it becomes available.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *