Police blamed for premature birth

07 December 2006 - 02:00
By unknown

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A woman who gave birth prematurely after a policeman allegedly kicked her in the stomach during a protest march can't wait to leave hospital so that she can press charges.

Zethu Mabuza, from Siyanda squatter camp, near KwaMashu in Durban, was admitted to Addington Hospital after the alleged assault.

She said she went into labour soon after being kicked in the stomach by a police officer and that her waters broke while the police were taking a statement from her after she was arrested.

Several hours later Mabuza gave birth to a one-month premature boy. The baby is in an incubator at the hospital.

"I was abused and humiliated by the police. Now they must face the music," Mabuza said.

She said that as soon as she was discharged from hospital she would make sure that the policemen responsible for her misery were brought to book.

The Abahlali base Mjondolo [shack dwellers] organisation lashed out at the police for the use of "unnecessary force" against its members.

Spokesman Mdu Hlongwa said more than 100 of its members had been arrested and over the past year THEY had been assaulted by the police, had received death threats and had been intimidated.

"These police don't know how to do their job. They are supposed to protect the people."

Hlongwa said the incident proved that the police discriminated against people who lived in shacks.

Phumele Ntsele, who is four months pregnant, and six other people, were injured when the police fired rubber bullets.