A nephew of a Tongan former Prime Minister Lord Sevele ‘O Vailahi has denied allegations made against him following a brawl in south Auckland yesterday.
The allegations against Taniela Sevele by a former Tongan Police officer and undercover Kelekōlio Tapueluelu were made in videos shared on Facebook Sunday 14.
According to the videos, Tapueluelu alleged he had been assaulted during a party in Papatoetoe.
He alleged that he had been attacked after Taniela appeared to have indirectly forced a friend to drink.
Tapueluelu, who appeared in bloodied clothes and hands in the videos, said he wanted to help the friend but another person in the party confronted him.
In one of the videos, Tapueluelu, who has become a strong critic of Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva, appeared to be heavily intoxicated and has threatened the Sevele family while sitting in a passenger seat of a car.
In another video, Tapueluelu said Sione Sevele, the eldest brother of Taniela, invited him with his wife Elisapesi to the party.
He blamed the Seveles for the incident.
“Mou tali hena ‘api ‘o Sione te u ha’u taa’i moutolu ke fa homou t ..” he said in Tongan in one of the videos.
This translates into English as: “You wait here at Sione’s home I will return and beat you until your s…t comes out.”
“I will look for you starting today. You are now my enemy,” he said.
“Stop doing that to me. I will from now on beat you day after day.”
Response from Sevele
Taniela has denied Tapueluelu’s allegations to Kaniva news.
He alleged Tapueluelu started a fight with another man during the party after the man asked him to stop swearing.
Taniela said he was trying to intervene and break up the altercation but Tapueluelu allegedly punched him in his face.
He claimed that he acted in self-defence and allegedly knocked Tapueluelu down.
He claimed no one else in the party joined the fight.
Taniela also claimed Tapueluelu left the scene and returned with his son and another fight ensued.
He said Police were called.
Tapueluelu however told Kaniva news this evening he was intoxicated and as far as he remembered some one threw a bottle at him during the party and it hit his left eyebrow.
He said he was disappointed after he has learned Sione did not help stop those in the party who allegedly assaulted him.
“I have talked to Sione and apologised to him,” he said.
“I was wrong because I went to a party to which I was not invited.”
He said he returned to the scene with his son to look for his house keys as he believed he dropped them there during the incident.
He said the Seveles were his friends but this was not the first time he got into trouble with them
He said he helped their uncle Lord Sevele in his attempt to bring back the 2019 Pacific Games to Tonga after the Pōhiva government announced it has cancelled it.
Tapueluelu injured in Tonga
As Kaniva News reported in 2017, Tapueluelu was in Tonga in a campaign to push for the government to bring back the Pacific Games 2019 to the kingdom.
He told Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pōhiva during a press conference he would continue to disturb (“fakahohaʻasi”) him until his decision to withdraw Tonga from hosting the Games be reverted.
Shortly after his comment he was attacked outside a restaurant in Nuku’alofa by a supporter of the Prime Minister.
Three men were arrested by Police and charged after the assault.
The charges were later dropped after Tapueluelu failed to show up in court.
Tapueluelu told us this evening he was in Tonga to support Lord Sevele.
He said after he was attacked in Tonga he had never heard from Lord Sevele again.
Read more about Tapueluelu:
You can follow this link to watch Tapueluelu with what he has alleged about the incident.