August 14, 2007 / 7:46 PM / 12 years ago

Swaziland opposition activist killed in police raid

MBABANE, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Police have shot and killed an activist accused of murder and armed robbery in Swaziland and the opposition said his death was politically motivated.

Ntokozo Ngozo, 30, died during a police raid in southern Swaziland on Saturday.

He was a long-serving member of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), the youth wing of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) which has called for political reform and is fiercely critical of the government.

The tiny southern African kingdom is sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarchy and the opposition has been effectively banned since 1973 by royal decree.

SWAYOCO said Ngozo was killed for his political activities.

"...this is a clear case of assassination. We believe that he was assassinated not because of the crimes he is alleged to have committed, but for his political beliefs," SWAYOCO President Alex Langwenya said.

Police said Ngozo was wanted after he was released on bail for armed robbery last year and committed the same crime again and also murder.

"We wanted him as a person who was responsible for committing sporadic attacks on innocent civilians," police spokesman Vusi Masuku said.



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