20 June 2017

Swaziland: Army Hits Back At 'Strip' Protests

The Swaziland Army continues to try to justify stripping people naked at border crossings to see if they are carrying illegal goods.

The Army said it did not use body scanners instead of strip-search because it did not have any.

The practice of inspecting the private parts of women with mirrors and stripping suspects naked came to light after a woman complained about her treatment.

Aspokesperson for the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) - as the Army is officially called - was quoted in the Swazi Observer on Thursday (15 June 2017) saying, 'Soldiers do not use scanners to search people passing at the informal crossings and we are not yet planning to introduce them. In fact, we do not have them.'

The trouble occurs at informal crossing over the border between Swaziland and South Africa. Locals who live within four kilometres of the border use them, often daily.

The spokesperson said if people cannot cope with the security measures, 'they should avoid using those crossings'.

The newspaper reported, 'He said USDF will not be stopped by such protests and they will continue to search people as before.

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