I just wrote this to my MP.
Dear Mr Morgan,
Do you like jazz? If you do, the name Soweto Kinch surely will ring a bell. He is one of the people pushing the campaign to help free Siyanda.
(He, btw, was first ignored and then kicked out of a pizza place in London. It happened in August 2019. When I found out that Julia Roberts publicly endorses the restaurant, I reached out to her representatives in the US. Surely, she would want to know about the incident, and there was a video recording of it. World-famous, Oxford-educated but black so he was not welcome. It won’t have been the first time he was abused and it won’t have been the last time, sadly. And it’s not about him being famous and Oxford-educated, of course. But I am not writing to you about him.)
I am writing to you as a constituent of Portsmouth South because I am deeply concerned about an incident of racial violence and consequent police misconduct that occurred in Wales. Yes, Wales is far from Portsmouth, but what happens in Wales also matters for Portsmouth.
The victim’s name is Siyanda Mngaza. She is a young disabled black woman who suffered racially motivated violence. But SHE was the one who was charged and convicted by an all-white jury of grievous bodily harm with intent. Her attackers must have laughed so loudly that they had to hold their bellies.
Siyanda’s arrest and subsequent conviction is undoubtedly by virtue of police negligence, misconduct and racial bias. Her sentence of 4.5 years was determined on 13th March 2020. Siyanda’s solicitors have already submitted an appeal challenging this verdict.
Below is a brief overview:
- Siyanda is 4” 10’ and was 20 years old when the attack happened
- She was attacked by 3 people, 2 of them male and twice her age
- Due to recent reconstructive surgery on one of her legs, Siyanda was unable to run and could not flee from her attackers
- There were 5 witnesses, 3 of which were Siyanda’s attackers and the other 2 are friends of the attackers
- The attackers were not taken into custody, arrested or charged
- All 5 witnesses – the attackers and their friends – were permitted to remain at the site of the incident and their statements were not taken until the following day
- Siyanda suffered terrible injuries which are documented in her medical records
- Siyanda told the officers at the time she had been racially attacked, yet they admitted in court they did not investigate her allegations of a racial assault
There has been widespread discrimination of black people within the UK and its punitive justice system for a long time and people have had enough, just like people have had enough of the abuse and violence that women are often subjected to.
Since the launch of the national campaign, the ‘Free Siyanda’ petition has gained over 500k signatures, clearly showing the strong public support she has.
I would like the UK parliament to be made aware of this injustice, thereby allowing it to be rectified. Ergo I am kindly asking if you could voice this issue in parliament and do anything else you can in aid of Siyanda’s plight and help bring it to a swift end. Given the level of public support and sheer incompetence shown by the Dyfed-Powys police, this travesty cannot be allowed to go unnoticed and remain unremedied.
Should you wish to view further details regarding Siyanda Mngaza and her campaign please view: www.freesiyanda.com
Thank you for your time.
[Supported to write this by Siyanda’s family and friends.]
She was ON HOLIDAY, too! For 1 night. Just a little getaway.