§ Mr. Taverne
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the High Commission for Swaziland has investigated reports of the caning of three Swazi children by South African police and the arrest of three Swazi women who had crossed into the Republic of South Africa for drawing water from the Ncuku River; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Sandys
Yes. Affidavits regarding this incident, which occurred on 18th October, have been made by three Swazi children, three Swazi women involved and three other Swazi witnesses. The children were returned across the border on the day of the incident and subsequently examined by a Government Medical Officer. The three women were sentenced in the Republic on 23rd October to pay a fine of £15 or to undergo imprisonment of 60 days in default, and were committed to prison. They were released on 28th October. The South African authorities have been asked to hold an inquiry into the treatment of the women and children involved. The result of this inquiry is not yet available but the South African authorities have been asked to expedite it.