According to the complainants’ lawyer, Nqobani Sithole, there was an attempt to shield a senior police officer implicated in the abuse of the women from facing justice.
“We met with senior police officers within the hierarchy and it was agreed a superintendent and above should investigate the matter. The issue that we were raising was whether a senior officer in the police force can be investigated by a junior officer,” Sithole told Southern Eye.
According to the opposition MDC, the women could have been assaulted by soldiers. “The severity of the assaults is not consistent with police training,” MDC women’s assembly provincial secretary, Hallen Tsepiso Mpofu said in a statement.
“We suspect this barbaric attack was carried out by people who are military-trained. The assault by the ‘police officers’ was worsened by the fact that anti-Ndebele slurs were pelted at the women, something common in Matabeleland during the early 1980s Gukurahundi genocide.”
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