with Thozama Mqikela
I was shaking so hard I had to sit down, it doesn’t matter how strong you think you are but if you have read the papers and heard the news of how police will shoot you and then say they suspected you were a criminal you will be terrified too.
Seeing all these cops with guns in front of you, you will shit yourself. It fact, South Africa Police love instilling fear on innocent people and make you incriminate yourself on things you know nothing about. I knew nothing about what was going on here, I am innocent I had to keep telling myself that, no way in hell am going to jail. Mthobisi came out looking so calm cool and collected, he asked what the commotion was all about and why the hell couldn’t they come during the day instead of waking us up in the ungodly hours of the morning, big mistake on his side. Four of the cops pounced at him, all bigger than him at that and started hitting him, slapping him and punching him in the body. These cops were smart they were making sure not to punch him on the face as that would leave marks. They were punching him in the body, I started screaming. I could not just stand there and watch my husband being beat to death. Suddenly they all turned and looked at me. I was screaming and crying “please stop, don’t kill him”. I made sure I was not close to them, I didn’t want to get a beat-up, some cops don’t care that you are a woman, they will beat the crap out of you if you stand in their way. I immediately said I was calling Brigadier Matshe. He was one of our clients so I had his number on my phone but did not necessarily have access to him. One of the policeman grabbed my phone and looked at the number. When he saw the number immediately he told them to stop. In that moment I had probably just saved my husbands life from these animals.
Everything happened so fast. These were not your normal clueless yet overzealous every day police men, you know the ones stomach in chest out ones that Bheki Cele said must lose weight, no, these were the real deal. This was not Trevor Noah’s Sgt Mazibuko! They had the entire combat gear and wore berets. They knocked me out of the way grabbed Mthobisi and one of them came to me and said,
“We will call you at 8oclock to tell you which police station to come to!”
and with that he walked out. With such police you don’t scream. You don’t fight back. I was in total shock. Once again I was losing my husband and this time I don’t know to what. Mthobisi screamed out that I should call Thomas and I did not even know who Thomas was. I thought it was his lawyer. The leader of the cops also asked who is Thomas and I just stared at him. Why had Mthobisi done this to us. Its shameful and embarrassing to see you husband be dragged out like a common criminal. You think you know the man you married then this happens. Someone reminded the man that they still had to search so they came back in. Those papers I had put under the bed!
By the way these were those cops that wear berets and people call them “Amabarete” and they are the most ruthless and brutal cops ever. If you read the papers you will find them so I am not exaggerating. I have heard many horrible stories about them and I was not about to get myself in the firing line. One of the Cops who was not wearing a uniform came to me and introduced himself as Detective Phiri from Hillbrow Police Station he asked what my relationship was to Mthobisi. I told him I was his wife he then asked if I knew what my husband did for a living, I told him he was an engineer. Everybody started laughing. I retorted back and said 15 men to arrest one person who is the fool now. One of them wanted to hit me and I told him to do it and we will see what Brigadier Matshe will say about that. He backed off. This was starting to annoy me, what the hell was going on here. I asked Detective Phiri why they were here he said my husband has extra mural activities from his engineering job. He showed me a search warrant and that they were going search the house, I asked him what were they looking for and he said they would know when they find it. This was getting seriously scary. They started searching, there were cops in every room, Mthobisi kept saying there is nothing for them to find. Someone must have called Security after hearing the loud knocks and my screams coz suddenly 2 security guards came rushing in, I swear I felt safer with Security guards than with these damn Mabarete cops. I told the security guards that there was a misunderstanding with the cops but we’ll let them do their work and after they will be leaving. Security guards love gossip like house maid and they wanted to know what the cops were looking for. I said I didn’t know and told them that there will be no noise coming from us and that they could leave. I actually wanted them to stay and protect us from these fools but what could security do against cops they didn’t even have guns, so they left. While they were busy looking I went and stood next to Mthobisi and asked if he was okay, he put my face in his hands and told me that a lot of stories are going come out about him but I should not believe any of the stories because none of them are true. He told me that he would make sure that we were okay, and that I had nothing to worry about. They were not finding anything so 2 of the Amabarette came and said to Mthobisi they will ask him this question once and once only “where is the gold” I looked at Mthobisi, the hell were these cops asking, Mthobisi gave them a blank stare and asked “what gold?” the 2 cops stretched his arm in front of him and hit in the middle of his arm, this must have hurt because Mthobisi screamed from the pain. I had no choice I dialled the Brigadiers number. I put him on speaker and shouted that his police were killing my husband. You could hear a pin drop. The Sgt came and identified himself on the phone and was told to cease and desist. Thank God the man did not ask who I was.
I told them that we didn’t have any gold and that Mthobisi was only an Engineer and had nothing to do with any gold dealings. The Detective came after hearing all this he told me that my husband who I had been married to for all these years was part of a syndicate. He told me that they were arresting him and I should call our lawyer because Mthobisi is facing a very long time in jail. What the hell was this? What syndicate? I had so many questions to ask but when I opened my mouth nothing would come out? I knew about the passports and I didn’t want to ask too many questions in case I implicated Mthobisi even further, I was so confused, frustrated, irritated and angry. Oh another snag, we did not have a lawyer, I know a lot of people join “Don’t talk to me talk to my lawyer” and “Scorpion” I have always seen those ads on TV as a joke, I always use to laugh at the people doing the ads but right now I wish I had joined one of them, it’s strange how you never think bad things will happen to you until they do and you are left rejecting the decisions and choices you made. I was so angry with Mthobisi right now, he could have at least told me to get a lawyer that way we wouldn’t be in so much shit, who was going to get him out, my mind was buzzing with questions and no answers. I was wrecking my brains thinking who we could call this time of the morning, time was 02:28. They handcuffed Mthobisi and took him downstairs to the police van, I was right behind them Mthobisi said to me call Thomas and tell him I have been arrested. I had no idea who Thomas was I had never even heard of that name before, I said “Thomas?” he said “yes Thomas my lawyer”, they threw him inside the van before he could explain further. He had a lawyer? Who was this man? I had known this man for more than 8 years but today I was seeing a stranger. This was not the man I had married. We knew everything about each and had no secrets or so I thought today I was seeing and hearing things that I had never heard before about my husband. Nothing hurts more than realising that the person you thought that you could rely on, the person that you thought you could depend on with your life is not the person whom they have been saying and pretending to be. This was the worst betrayal ever!!! The cops told me that they would be taking Mthobisi to Hillbrow Police Station and if I wanted to see him I will only be able to see him during visiting hours which is from 14:00 – 15:30. This was it, my husband was going to prison!!
As soon as he left I went through his papers. The name Thomas appeared a lot and fortunately it was the same number. It was quite late but Thomas picked up his phone immediately. I told him that Mthobisi had told me to call him. He mentioned me by name and said that I should not speak further the call might be noted. He asked me who else was in the house and when I told him i was alone. He said I was to take my phone and he hung up. Wait a minute, I did not give him my number. Within a minute my phone rang and I remember saying hello with a whisper! I was even scared to speak on my own phone. What the hell was going on? As soon as I finished he said,
“Listen carefully for I shall say this only once…”
The monologue, for this was no conversation lasted only two minutes and without saying bye he dropped the phone. Why all the secrecy!!! I was getting frustrated but because I was scared for my husband I wrote everything down. I went to bed and yes I slept like a baby! I was tired of this emotional roller coaster.
Then it hit me… Thomas was not a lawyer!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Again thank you for these wonderful blogs. My fiance has a rule that I cannot touch his phone. He does not try to touch mine either about after four years of dating surely he has nothing to hide. Two days ago he walked in when I was holding his phone and he went livid. We are engaged for crying out loud so we had a huge fight on it. He then gave me his phone to go through and there was absolutely nothing to be suspicious of. Did I do something wrong though? He has still not forgiven me.