Swazi Observer

30 July 2007

By Bheki Gama


TWO human bodies were burnt beyond recognition inside a forest engulfed by inferno in Pigg’s Peak in the early morning hours yesterday.


Herd boys who were looking for cattle at the forest known as B4 Forest at Mzimnene made the grizzly find at around 7a.m.

They sped off to report to their parents, who subsequently informed the area’s community police.

Pigg’s Speak are investigating circumstances leading to the death.

Police Public Relation’s Officer (PRO) Superintendent Vusie Masuku said the deceased (both males) were estimated to be between 25 and 30 years of age.

He said they were discovered in a forest that was burnt by fire, which engulfed the entire Mondi Forest.

He added that the police called D4 workers to help identify the bodies.

The bodies are currently kept at Pigg’s Peak mortuary.

“We appeal to all members of the public to please contact Pigg’s Peak police if they notice their relatives are missing,” Masuku said, mentioning.

In another development, the raging fire has so far claimed over 80 percent of Mondi Forest plantations.

The inferno fires has also razed to the ground houses and kraals in 35 homesteads at the nearby Ndzingeni area.

Amongst the homesteads is one belonging to Mvuma’s chief Kekela Dlamini where seven huts and a kraal were razed to the ground.

The nearby homesteads belonging to Msakato Dlamini and Sayetjeni Dlamini were not spared.

Not far from the chief’s place, a Magagula homestead was also reduced to ashes including huts where grain (maize) was stored. At Sayetjeni’s homestead. grain (maize) was still burning by late yesterday.

The fire also destroyed 19 rented rooms at another Magagula homestead in Pigg’s Peak, leaving at least 50 people without food and clothes.

It was gathered that about 18 children lost school uniforms and books.

A resident, Simanga Magagula pointed an accusing finger at the fire personnel for allegedly having refused to respond to their emergency calls.

He then appealed to members of the public to come to their rescue by making donations such as clothing and food.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Absalom Themba Dlamini and some cabinet ministers assessed the damage and were taken to various places where the raging fire left a trail of destruction.

The PM indicated that he was running short of words to describe his profound shock at the amount of destruction the fire had caused. The premier was speaking at Chief Kekela’s homestead shortly after a guided tour of the destroyed forests and homes. “On behalf of is Majesty, the Indlovukazi and the entire Swazi nations, we say we are deeply hurt by this disaster. We do not know what went wrong,” he said. He equated the disaster to death.

He, however, heaped praises on those who made attempts to save lives, mentioning that the chief had to break a window to save a child locked in a house at a certain homestead.

The premier said he had been informed by Senator Mavovo Mkhonto, who owns a portion of the burnt forest, that the fire was overwhelming all efforts to put it out.

“I then sent a cabinet team to assess the situation. They also told me the same story,” he said. Dlamini said police, soldiers and warders were called to assist, noting, however, that there were also engulfed by the flames.

“I’m informed that there are those who are currently without shelters to hide their heads. As government, we will try to find help,” he added.

He then appealed for assistance from every able Swazi. “There is a need for the nation to share whatever little food available,” he said, mentioning that government would also solicit assistance from the international community.

The Premier further expressed his sympathy to Mondi Forest management and workers for the loss suffered

Swazi Times

30 July 2007

Cops, magistrates’crime syndicate exposed

By Nimrod Mabuza

MATSAPHA – A syndicate comprising some traffic police and judicial officers in Manzini and Mbabane is making a killing from motorists nabbed for drink driving, it has been revealed.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Sicelo Dlamini revealed that traces of the existence of a similar syndicate have been found in Nhlangano.

Speaking at a meeting of stakeholders on the administration of justice, Dlamini said the allegations of syndicates cashing in on motorists arrested for drink- driving were true.

“We have followed this matter and we even have some names. These cases are rampant in Mbabane and Manzini. We have found traces in Nhlangano,” he said.

Dlamini said a similar pattern with the same officers had been observed in the cases the ministry had been following. He said the same officers were involved in the arrests with the same magistrate being called to attend to the cases.

He said it had come to their attention that both the police and judicial officers involved in the scheme solicit payment from the suspects. He said some traffic officers target their prey and follow them.

The Chief Justice, Richard Banda, was present at the meeting. Banda (CJ) and the PS had in their opening speeches spoken against corruption in the judiciary and the police service. Two magistrates Joseph Gumedze and Charles Masango, dismissed the allegations of bribes as untrue, prompting the PS to reiterate his statement on corruption involving some traffic police and magistrates, stating the allegations had substance.

Masango even said the best way to handle cases of drink- driving without being painted black was not to handle them. He said each time he handled a drink-driving case, allegations would follow that he had been bribed or taken something from the suspect. “If I am to remain clean from the allegations, the best thing is to stop handling cases of drink-driving,” he said. Masango talked about the sense of duty and the desire to do justice, if he was available, as the motivation that made him to attend the cases. He said at times he was awoken at night to attend to some cases of drink-driving.

Gumedze said at times he was called in the middle of the night and had to drive from Manzini to Lobamba to preside over cases of drink-driving.

Gumedze said it obviously followed that he should be compensated for the fuel and that was not corruption. He said the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs could solve the problem by allocating cars to magistrates. If government is unable to provide cars, police could be instructed not to call magistrates to preside over cases after 5pm. Police PRO Superintendent Vusi Masuku, called to comment on the allegations of corruption made by the PS, said the allegations would be investigated and if proven the law would take its course. He said the intention of arresting suspects for drink driving was not meant to enrich anybody, but a means to prevent accidents on the road. He said it had been noted that in a majority of road accidents, alcohol had been an element.

Supt. Masuku pleaded with the victims of such corruption to come forward with information. He said they could avail such information to the nearest police station or himself.

Swazi Observer

26 July 2007

By Bongile Mavuso


MTN Swaziland has called on the provision of an independent regulator of the country’s telecommunications industry.


Chief Executive Officer, Tebogo Mogapi said this during a “Y’ello Editors’ Briefing at the Ezulwini Sun Hotel yesterday morning.

Making his presentation, the new CEO, who takes over from Themba Khumalo, said the company had recommended such a body to the relevant authorities.

He stated that the company feels that it does not create a healthy environment for the industry to operate without a regulator.

He said this needed to be treated with urgency to address issues arising within the sector.

Mogapi stated that it would be difficult to deregulate the industry in the absence of an independent regulator.

He said MTN Swaziland had submitted its application for the renewal of their license post and eagerly await a response from the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Communications.

He further stated that they understand the terms of the current license post, which grants the company exclusivity in operations of the mobile communications industry.

“We understand the terms offered by the current license post and are not seeking for such in the renewal of the license contract. We fully support deregulation of the industry as it is good for the economy. As you open up to more players in industry, it is of benefit mainly to the economy of that country you operate in,” he said.

Mogapi stated that it was a challenge for the country to open up to more operators, and this depended on the size of the market available.

He pointed out that they were open to competition as it would help in developing their products and services, hence satisfying their customers.

“It is really not for us to say if the country needs another operator but for government and interested parties in the industry. Actually it is the size of the market that determines if more operators are welcome or not but we really do not support exclusivity,” the CEO said.

On the other hand, Mogapi stated that they had resolved the issue of lease costs with the Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC).

He mentioned that he could easily say they were in good terms with his SPTC counterpart, Nathi Dlamini (MD).

“I can safely say the two companies have good business relations as we have also resolved the issue that made headlines recently, that of lease costs. We can sit and discuss business as businesspeople,” he added.

He stressed that the company had ensured good relations with all stakeholders

Swazi Times

26 July 2007

Mondi Forest burning


PIGG’S PEAK – A raging fire, which started on Tuesday morning, has caused extensive destruction at Mondi Forest Company in Pigg’s Peak.

By yesterday afternoon, fire fighters from Mondi South Africa had joined forces with their local counterparts, whose efforts had proved ineffective despite that they had sought the assistance of the Swaziland National Fire and Emergency Services.

Four helicopters from South Africa were desperately fighting the fire yesterday with little success.

Thulani Mavuso, a supervisor of the Harvesting Department, said all sections of the Mondi Forest Company had to cease operations as employees had to be deployed in the many forest sections to put out the fire.

“The fire started at around 9am on Tuesday and after the workers in the forest department failed to put it out, all the other sections were then deployed to the forest for assistance,” Mavuso said. The employees failed to put out the fire, and a decision was taken to call the National Fire and Emergency Services. But this was a bit late, as the fire had, aided by the wind, moved to the D3 and D4 sections of the forest. “The National Fire and Emergency Services were called in the afternoon and by then the whole of the D3 forest had been burned down,” Mavuso explained. John Mamba, who was also at the fire scene, said: “The company had no alternative, but to rope in its entire staff, including the subcontracted departments, due to the magnitude of the fire. As you can see the thick smoke over the hills, the D4 section has also caught fire.” A number of the firefighters at the scene said they expected the fire to continue for a number of days before it could be put out. Asked as to what exactly was the source of the fire, none of them seemed to know for a fact, but could only speculate.

Swazi Observer

24 July 2007

We thrive on corruption - MP
By Bheki Gama


NGWEMPISI Member of Parliament (MP) has come out to publicly declare that Swazis thrive on corruption.


Vulindlela Msibi was addressing a meeting convened by the Co-ordinating Assembly of Non-governmental Organisations (CANGO) where he was one of four panelists last Thursday at the Mbabane Theatre Club.

“We are corrupt,” Msibi announced much to the cheers of his audience. “We should distribute wealth correctly,” he added, further emphasising that the country could afford spending on the elderly, but its spending priorities were misguided.

“On Social Security, the country can afford, however, all the money is diverted to personal bank accounts because we are corrupt. The country is corrupt,” he said. The MP stated that the country could afford to offer the elderly more than the E100 it currently pays them as grants.

In a separate interview yesterday, MP Msibi said Minister of Finance Majozi Sithole was on record having declared that the country was losing about E40 million a month through corruption.

“I personally conducted my own research and discovered that E60 million was lost through the scourge,” he said, mentioning that the money ended up in the pockets of only a few individuals.

“I am convinced that corruption is thriving in every sphere of our society,” the MP observed, mentioning that if all coffers could be channeled appropriately through fair distribution of wealth, the elderly could be paid far more and the country could reap immeasurable economic rewards.

Motivators' pay

Msibi also said health motivators (bagcugcuteli) would be paid more than the E100 they were currently getting from government. “Health motivators are doing a great job for the country and even risk their lives. They deserve to be paid better,” he noted.

MP Msibi was reacting to concerns raised by Mbabane Councillor Jabulani Nxumalo who wished to know what parliament was doing to fast track the establishment of a ‘National Social Security Scheme’, which he said would help settle rates on behalf of members of society who were financially disadvantaged so that they did not lose their properties. Nxumalo reminded the gathering that such a scheme formed part of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) popular 27 demands. The councillor was of the view that municipalities should not only rely on rates to function. He said local governments should get something from things like traffic fines and trading licence fees from establishments operating within towns and cities.

Further, he said the national Constitution gave councillors a five-year term and wished to know what would become of those who would be elected this September.

The meeting was to garner support for women in the coming municipal elections. Other panelists were Matsapha Town Clerk Gciniwe Fakudze, Ngwenya Town Board Chairperson Lungile Mamba and Melusi Hlandze from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

Both Fakudze and Mamba spoke about their experiences as part of male dominated town management teams. Fakudze explained the challenges she faced having to deal with a male dominated boardroom where she said decisions were taken long before meetings were convened.

She said men tended to discuss and agree on issues in social gatherings like sports and would go inside a boardroom already holding a collective position. Mamba also discussed her experiences as the ultimate authority of a town.

Women participation

“We should empower and encourage the participation of women in all structures,” MP Msibi pleaded. He mentioned that he wished Minister of Housing and Urban Development Mabili Dlamini could appoint those who belonged to less represented segments of society, which included women and the physically challenged.

Said Msibi (sic): “Given the opportunity in the increasingly corrupt society, women leadership is the answer and could provide a beacon of hope in providing a model of good governance at local and national level, which would improve living standards of the downtrodden masses.”

Further, he said Minister Dlamini should consider reviewing the package for councilors in order to attract the best brains. He said the present package was not attractive at all.

Swazi Times

24 July 2007

Dagga found in seb md’s car


MBABANE –A second attempt has been made to smear the Managing Director of the Swaziland Electricity Board (SEB) Pius Gumbi with a criminal offence. A first attempt was made last year where he was accused of assaulting an employee. The charges were eventually dropped by the Director of Prosecutions (DPP) due to insufficient evidence.

Now a block of compressed dagga has been placed under the spare wheel of his car, a Mercedes ML 500 by somebody allegedly paid to do it.

Linked to the crime is a well known businessman, some officials within SEB and others who once had dealings with SEB in one way or another. The only motive for their actions could be to get him kicked out of SEB.

Unknown to him, Gumbi drove around with the stashed dagga for close to three months until 24 December when he was made aware that somebody had planted dagga in his car.

The matter has been under investigations for the past six months.

“The plan was to have him arrested when confronted by police either at a roadblock or when crossing the border in Swaziland and Mozambique where he sometimes goes for business. Unfortunately this didn’t work as Gumbi never took any trip to SA or Mozambique with the car or had it searched at a roadblock,” said a source close to the matter.


Police have confirmed the matter and it has received high attention.

A team of top detectives led by Senior Superintendent Khethokwakhe Ndlangamandla have been assigned to it.

The man who planted the dagga was employed by a tyre repair company in Mbabane where Gumbi had taken his car to have a punctured trye attended to.

The employee is said to have been paid about E400 to place the dagga under the spare wheel when he was done repairing the puncture.

Sources say Gumbi had left the car there for from around 10 am on that day and traveled with a colleague until he returned to collect his car at around 3 pm.

The Times has gathered that the man has since been dismissed by the tyre company.

Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed the incident and said investigations are at an advanced stage.

“A number of people have been interrogated with regards to the matter and we will soon be winding up investigations and sending the docket to the DPP’s offices for the necessary directives or instructions. Police have also recorded statements from possible witnesses,” he said.

Gumbi could only say: “I am aware of the matter and police are currently working on it.”

Despite SEB’s booming profits over the past years with Gumbi at the helm, it would appear he has earned more enemies than friends. The Times is following developments very closely in its determined effort to establish who they are.

Swazi Observer

23 July 2007

King calls for agric research institute
By Timothy Simelane


HIS Majesty King Mswati III has called for a research institute that will analyse locally produced commodities and further determine the probability of its success in the international market.


His Majesty said one specialty of such a research would be the prospects of turning cow dung to marketable manure for sale to farmers.

He said there were plenty of products farmers could derive from cattle instead of focusing on only milk and meat.

“The cow dung we sometimes use as manure could be developed further and be prepared for sale in the market. Such are the things that could be done by a research institute, which we need in the country,” he said.

The King was addressing delegates in one of the group discussions at Mavuso Exhibition and Trade Centre during the second day of the National Agriculture Summit.

His Majesty said farming was an industry that required attention and should be handled with care if farmers wanted to reap its produce. “We need a research institute because if we run roughshod to implement things without it, there are more chances of failure.”

From a cow, His Majesty said people could get meat, milk, manure and leather from its skin while the horns could be used for many purposes.

Similarly, in the forestry industry, His Majesty said there were many products that could be reaped.

“Since it is known that these trees take 16 to 25 years to mature and yield profits, the farmer then has a challenge to do something else in the meantime. Reality is such that he has a family to support and a child born when the trees were planted would have finished school before these are harvested.

The farmer, therefore, has many options such as reaping mushrooms that grow under the trees or harnessing the honey found in thick forests to generate income whilst waiting for the harvest of the pulp.”

In his many ideas, the King also advised farmers and delegates to ensure their produce was of a high quality standard to compete well in international markets.

He said the upcoming World Trade Organisation (WTO) principle that removes preferential trade areas would impact negatively on sub-Saharan states.

“All farmers will now be required to compete with those from developed states for markets abroad,” he said.

Swazi Times

23 July 2007

Warders’ union boss fired


MANZINI – A Disciplinary Committee of His Majesty’s Correctional Services cited a verse in the Holy Bible as they recommended that Bongani Gumede, a Priest and Welfare Officer stationed at Mdutshane Juvenile facility, should be fired. The Disciplinary Committee found Gumede guilty of allegedly disobeying a lawful order, in that he failed to attend a work-related meeting, in preference of a union hearing at the High Court.

Gumede is the Deputy Chairperson of the Warders’ Union and the charge was preferred against him at the wake of similar hearings that also ended up in dismissals of two officers employed by the Royal Swaziland Police Service.

They are police Union Chairperson Buhle Dlamini and Intelligence Officer Phinda Dlamini (dismissed for refusing to submit a falsified list of police union members), who have both filed appeals against their dismissal to the office of the Prime Minister.

Gumede’s three-week long hearing ended on Thursday morning, where he was informed that he had been found guilty of the alleged misconduct.

Correctional Services Assistant Public Relations Officer Nomkhosi Maseko confirmed that the committee had found Gumede guilty.

“It was just an internal hearing and that was not the final verdict, it is just a recommendation. The Commissioner (Mnguni Simelane) is yet to review the case and consider the recommendation. Therefore, the recommendation is not final,” she said on Friday.

The Times SUNDAY tracked Gumede on Thursday and he confirmed the recommendation. “I am on my way home to report the news before they learn about it from other people,” he said.


He confirmed that the chairman of the committee had quoted a verse from the book of Mathew 4: 13, which reads: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”(Source: WebOnline bible)

Gumede said his conscience was clear about the alleged charge preferred against him, reaffirming that he had alerted one of his supervisors that he would not make it to the alleged meeting.

In mitigation, before the announcement of the recommendation to have him fired, Gumede said he was a first offender and that he had three dependants who would suffer, should he lose his source of livelihood. He also stated that he was currently pursuing his studies at the University of Swaziland. However, the committee allegedly noted that Gumede had been disrespectful during the proceedings in that at one point he went to the men’s room without seeking permission.

If the commissioner approves the dismissal, Gumede has an option to appeal to the minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, who is the political head of the Correctional Services. However, if it is reversed, he might get away with a fine, as stipulated by the Prison Act.


During the hearing, Gumede was represented by an attorney from PM Shilubane and Associates, while Bongani Khumalo was the prosecutor. Khumalo, a UNISWA Law graduate, was transferred from Nhlangano to the Correctional Headquarters recently.

By Thursday, Gumede’s ‘comrades’ were already aware and they condemned the recommendation.

“What is a surprise to us that the Chaplain, who had no prior record for an offence since he was employed, could be dismissed even without a warning,” said Thokozani Mazibuko, the Secretary General of the union.

He said the whole membership would hold a meeting today at Ilanga Centre, where they would discuss the issue at length.

Other union members also expressed concern on the decision to institute disciplinary proceedings against Gumede when some of his colleagues at Mdutshane had committed other serious offences but no action was taken against them.

“There was an officer (name withheld) who disappeared from work for 10 days without informing anyone but nothing was said about his case despite that everyone knew he went drinking. Another officer (name also known) came to work so drunk that he smashed the window to the officer in charge’s office.

“Our suspicion, therefore is that the assistant chairperson was victimised for being part of the union,” said a union member, who wishes not to be named.

The spokesperson of the institution did not wish to comment about the allegations. She said she would consult with the relevant officers and get back with a response. “I should locate the responsible officers first,” she said.

Swazi Observer

22 July 2007

Stories by Fanyana Mabuza


"Since all things are tied to a country's Constitution, which becomes the Supreme Law of any country,


it is then fairly plausible to conclude that it is the same Constitution that enables corruption to thrive in any country, Swaziland included." This is the view of Robert Cerasoli, a specialist in the area of corruption in the United States.

Cerasoli was in the country courtesy of the American Embassy which hosted him. He made presentations to business people, law practitioners, civil society and government officials, and yesterday he held a press briefing at the American Cultural Centre in Mbabane, where local journalists asked him questions pertaining to the scourge of corruption.

Cerasoli observed that also, the country's Constitution was just too long, which made it difficult for it to be amended, in a bid to give more muscle to an Anti-Corruption Commissioner, who is yet to be appointed.

Cerasoli, in his brief to journalists stated that he had heard that corruption was rampant in the country, but stressed that this scourge affected almost every country in the world, the only difference between countries was the degree and extent of which it ran.

"Corruption is neither need nor greed based, but opportunity based. Where there is an opportunity to be corrupt, people will always be corrupt, which is why society should shut those doors of corruption. People can stop being corrupt when they know that they will be punished for it. But if they know that they will not, they will make use of that opportunity," he said.


He continued that the key point was to ensure that everyone should be accountable for their actions.

"As long as there are people who are above the law, then you will have serious problems, as they will take advantage of the fact that they are untouchable," he said.

He continued that he had heard that there was an Anti-Corruption Commission in the country, which still lacked a commissioner, observing that from what he had heard in his short stay, the commissioner will just be there in paper, but will have no teeth.

"You have to ensure that the commission along with its head have real teeth, and that would start by amending the Constitution to give the Commissioner the working tools and powers to investigate without fear. As I said before, I do not see that happening because your Constitution is way too long and to amend it would pose serious problems. As it is, it is just unamendable. Good Constitutions are usually not more than 20 pages long. This makes it easier to amend it as society moved with the times,' he said.

He said in his country, Commissioners, who are called Inspector Generals, had all the powers and normally used a formulae called following the money, or paper trail.

"With such unbounded powers, they follow the money from where it left right up to where it landed. In most cases, they come out victorious and ensure convictions in court. With the current status quo in your country, I do not see that happening easily." he said.

Cerasoli observed that currently, the media was playing the commissioner's role in the country by exposing corruption wherever it may be, but without the will, political or otherwise, cunning people normally waited with bated breath until an issue subsides from the papers, and then begin where they left.

He said with the present scenario, even if an expert corruption buster could be found for the country, he would soon become a paper tiger who would enjoy his salary, while rats continued feeding illegally from the national treasure chest.

"He may have the vim and vigour while still new, but he would soon learn that the wisest thing was to make his money by not upsetting anyone, and that is not the way it should be if a people are serious about eliminating corruption."

He closed by stating that the E52 million capacity Building money that was squandered could have been easily sorted out back home and the money would have been found.

"By any standards, that was a lot of money. Back home the method of following the money or the paper trail, the culprits would have been found and the money recovered. There was a point of departure and arrival for the money, and by closely following the paper trail, commissioners would have been led from where it departed until where it ended sweeping clean wherever they passed,' he said.

Swazi Times

22 July 2007

Govt. looking for foreign crime-buster


MBABANE – An expatriate or foreigner may be ap-pointed to serve as a Commissioner of the re-launched AntiCorruption Unit.

The indication arises from government’s move to embark on a worldwide search for suitable candidates to elevate the country to a corruption free state.

Advertisements for the vacancies were posted with Africa’s well-known newspaper, the Mail & Guardian, at a cost believed to be no less than E25 400.

Another was placed with The Economist, which circulates in all continents and is considered a publication for the affluent. Some multinational companies, multilateral organizations and leading academic institutions also advertise their vacancies with The Economist.

The circulation of the advertisements for the posts of Commissioner; Deputy Commissioner-Investigations and Asset Recovery; and Deputy Commissioner-Administration, started at the beginning of the month and the recruiting authority is the Judicial Services Commission.


The advert states: “In order to re-launch and operationalize the commission, the under noted positions are deemed to be crucial.”

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Sicelo Dlamini confirmed they had cast their net wide in search for suitable candidates.

“We placed one with the Mail and Guardian, which is a regional newspaper and another in The Economist because it is found worldwide. Go to Singapore, Japan, New York, you can find it,” said Dlamini, who is also Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission. According to the advert, the individuals to be appointed into the positions may hold office for a period of not more than five years and may be reappointed for a single term.

For a position of commissioner, the individual to be appointed should have, among attributes, qualification to be a Judge of the High Court of Swaziland, while the two deputies are expected to be graduates from recognised Universities and have at least 10 years relevant experience in senior level management.


There is also an indication that the Deputy Commissioner – Administration may be a local candidate as the post was only advertised in the local press. The individual to be appointed will be responsible for general office administration, while the Deputy Commissioner – Investigations and Asset Recovery would be responsible for the core function of the commission.

The terms of employment are such that the candidate shall hold office for a period of not more than five years and may be appointed for a single year.

The deadline for the local applicants was Thursday July 18, 2006 while those from abroad have until July 27, 2007 to submit the required documents.

The precise package for the commissioners is still not known, however the advert indicates that government is offering a “market related salary commensurate with the job benefits”, which include an inducement allowance, commuted car allowance and house benefit.

The operationalization of the Commission comes after the Prevention of Corruption Act 2007 was approved by Parliament, and assented to, by His Majesty King Mswati III. The Commission is established and empowered by this legislation.

However it is not the first time government had watchdog institution of this nature. The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) was first established in 1998, but it failed to deliver a single indictment. This was partly because legislation giving powers to the unit had not been enacted. It had a director in the late Paddy O’Connor.


The operationalization of the commission is being prepared against a background of millions in Emalangeni of taxpayer’s money lost through Corruption. This was also disclosed by Finance Minister, Majozi Sithole, who said a consultant, had found that government was losing more than E40 million (US$6.5 million) per month through corruption.

“Some highly placed individuals connive with government officials to inflate contracts, or even make government pay for services that were never rendered. The playground for corruption is in goods and services, as well as in construction projects,” he once noted.

Swazi Observer

18 July 2007

SUB feeds the nation
By Bongile Mavuso


SWAZILAND United Bakeries has pledged its commitment towards the development and well- being of school-going children in the Shiselweni region.


This is further to the project, SUB Feeding Scheme, launched last week at Pigg’s Peak.

Yesterday, the company presented bread to two schools, Ebenezar and Hlatikulu Central Primaries, where the teachers are expected to distribute it to pupils whom they see fit to benefit. SUB Marketing Manager Bheki Mkhonta said this was their way of ploughing back to communities as the children are their future clients and partners.

“The country has over 1.1 million people and about 160 000 tonnes of maize are used as stable food by the people. As the drought situation hit the country, over 410 000 people need food urgently and more than a half of this number comprises school-going children. It is for this reason that we have decided on lending a hand to feeding the children. We believe this will go a long way in assisting them at school as it is difficult to concentrate in an empty stomach,” he said.

He stated that as they feed the children, they were feeding the nation, under the slogan ‘We feed the nation. You feed the child.’

Ebenezar Primary Head Teacher Solomon Magagula said his school was facing a challenge in dealing with the issue of OVC, as there is quite a number of them.

“Over 650 pupils are registered at the school and 175 of them are officially catered for under government’s OVC scheme. However there is still a large number of needy children who cannot all be accommodated in the scheme. We are grateful to SUB for the kind of help they have offered to our schools,” Magagula said.

All pupils at the school (Ebenezar) will receive bread on Fridays whilst at Hlatikulu Central, only 58 pupils will benefit. SUB gives each school a dozen of bread per week and hopes to increase the number after the pilot. Mkhonta stated that this was an addition to other programmes the company had with the country’s education institutions like the internship programme with the University of Swaziland and the school fees programme.

Mkhonta said this would be a pilot project to be implemented in two regions, Hhohho (Pigg’s Peak) and Shiselweni (Mtsambama) constituencies.

He commended His Majesty King Mswati III and government for the concerted efforts towards ensuring the enrollment of OVCs in schools. “SUB management is concerned about the condition of these children in schools and an assessment was carried to the realisation that some of these children have their only meal a day at schools.

We realise the importance of reaching out to these children in order to ensure that they perform to their maximum ability. SUB believes that education is fundamental for the development of these children into better citizens of tomorrow,” he said.

He said the company wanted to eliminate this barrier to education so that even the disadvantaged were able to concentrate in class and actively explore their abilities.

“The programme will be rolled out over two months after which the company shall evaluate it with schools as well as communities and work out a strategy for the third term.

At SUB, we believe that a country that does not invest in children has no future. We believe that feeding children is like feeding the nation,” he stated.

He stressed that the project would be rolled out with government’s assistance.

Swazi Times

18 July 2007

Wilmer buys wife out for E219 000


MBABANE- Businessman Oscar Wilmer has bought out his wife Gloria Matse-bula from Shonalanga Funeral Home.

As a result they have agreed that Matsebula be paid E219 000 as part of her shares.

This is the businessman who had to stagger and at times crawl from his home to a nearby hotel after he was brutally hacked on the head allegedly by Matsebula. Matsebula was later arrested in connection with the crime and is presently awaiting trial after being released on bail.

The High Court has endorsed the agreement between the two as an order of the court.

“It is agreed that the parties shall sign a sale of shares agreement in respect of which the applicant sells to the respondent in this representative capacity 20 percent of the issued share capital of the business, currently registered in the name of the applicant,” reads the agreement dated July 10, 2007. The matter appeared before Justice Jacobus Annandale.

It has been stated that Matsebula will receive the above-mentioned amount, which has been divided into three parts.

A sum of E138 000 in cash; it has been agreed will be paid out from the business account while E52 000, which presently kept in the custody of the police, will also be paid to Matsebula.

The balance of E29 000 will be a motor vehicle, Mitsubishi RVR to be retained by Matsebula, which is already in her possession.

It has also been agreed that Matsebula will facilitate for full payment and the transfer of the trading licence for her name into the name of the company upon signing the memorandum of understanding.

“Applicant (Matsebula) agrees that upon concluding the agreement of the sale of shares she shall cease to be associated with the business or claim title in respect thereof in any manner whatsoever and shall not use the name IGHO or Shonalanga in any future dealings,” further reads the agreement.

It has been stated that if any parts fails to comply with the order within 14 days the other may institute further legal proceedings to enforce the provisions of the agreement. In the matter Wilmer was represented by Attorney Zweli Shabangu while Abdul Mohammed represented Matsebula.

Swazi Observer

16 July 2007

By Phila Dlamini


THE Swaziland cane-cutting team was the overall winner of the international cane-cutting competition held at the Xinavane Sugar Estate in Mozambique on Wednesday.


Swaziland beat last year’s winners, Zimbabwe, to second spot. Mozambique came third, whilst South was last on position four.

All six locals who were competing made it to the top ten.

Mfanawendlela Sifundza was crowned champion, followed by another local June Ngcamphalala.

The competition was 250km east of Maputo. It was evident from the results that the standards of Swazi cane-cutting were among the best in the world.

Contributing to the success of the local team are dedicated and experienced cutters.

Participating in previous competitions has also helped the locals to improve their overall performance.

Mandla Mavuso, Chairman of the local competition organising committee, was happy for the locals’ achievement.

Meanwhile, local champion Jabulani Khulu got position six.

Also beaten for the first spot was Khulu’s runner up, in the local competition, Justice Mamba who got position seven. Khulu was however not concerned about coming sixth.

A source quoted him saying he had not gone to Mozambique to compete for first position, but his goal was for Swaziland to get first position and reclaim their trophy from Zimbabwe.

Accompanying the team of cane-cutters to Mozambique were local business people in the cane-cutting industry. Carol Sibandze of Leni Investments, a company dealing with supplying cane-cutting gear, was among those who accompanied the team.

As the cane-cutting went on, Sibandze was busy making business deals with sugar company representatives from Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

“I currently have possibilities in both Mozambique and Zimbabwe. They are not very big yet, but we are looking forward to striking gold soon,” she said.

There are huge possibilities that local business people can utilise. One of the Mozambican managers revealed that they were willing to work with local suppliers as they did not have any in their country. Some Swazi business people said they also considered venturing into sub-contracting cane-cutting in Mozambique.

This would be a win-win situation for all as the locals would bring with them expertise, experience and high quality cane cutting.

On another note, Minister of Enterprise and Employment Lutfo Dlamini could not make it to the competition.

Dlamini was very instrumental in organising local winner Jabulani Khulu’s prize, a mini-bus. There is no doubt, however, that he will be happy to see the Swazi team bringing back their trophy. The minister is indeed a champion to the cane-cutters for his dedication to the upliftment and recognition of cane-cutting.

Dlamini earlier revealed that it was his dream to see people rising above cane cutting and making it big in business.


Swazi Times

16 July 2007

Dumisa dlamini tries to attach ABSA


MBABANE –ABSA Bank on Friday stopped a bid by Dumisa Dlamini to strip goods worth about E95 million after he had obtained a court order to that effect.

This is the latest chapter in the businessman’s bid to recover his multi-millions he claims were wrongfully taken from him.

According to the Saturday Star, ABSA Bank’s headquarters in Jo’burg and many of its branches nationwide were due to be stripped of furniture, computers and movable goods worth nearly E95-million, according to an order of the Pretoria High Court. But the bank hit back, turning Jo’burg Deputy Sheriff André Bormann away with its own court order declaring former sugar magnate Dumisa Dlamini had no legal standing to bring court actions against Absa because he was an ‘unrehabilitated insolvent’.

It is said the court had ordered that three writs of execution totalling E94.8-million be served against Absa’s Absa Towers headquarters at 160 Main Street; that the movable goods be taken to ‘a place of safety’; and that they then be sold at public auction to raise the money owed to Dlamini.

Dlamini in a previous interview with the newspaper stated that he would not rest until ‘justice was done.’

He said he was defrauded over E600 million in investments while in South Africa since he arrived in the early 90s.

Swazi Observer

12 July 2007

Hope for Swazi sugar
By Thabile Masuku


THE Swaziland Sugar Association has found a new market for brown sugar in the EU market.


Even though not wanting to divulge how much the association was being paid for the sugar or how much they exported, SSA Chief Executive Officer Mike Matsebula said they were being paid a very good price.

He stated, however, that the market was still very small and was for their new brown sugar product known as Very High Polarisation (VHP) sugar.

Matsebula said in the past, they mostly exported raw sugar to be refined in Europe.

“But what we have been doing is to improve the quality of the sugar to VHP. This is a direct consumption sugar. It’s a relatively new product. But the market is very small and requires us to sell smartly because we don’t want to flood the market thus cut down the price. We want to be a reliable supplier,” he said.

The CEO added that they expected the relationship with their new-found market to go a long way.

He explained that there was actually a bright future for Swazi sugar.

“However, the trick is in making sure that it’s made sustainable and profitable,” he said, adding that this was one of the reasons they would be hosting the National Sugar Conference on July 25. Nine speakers, including eight international experts, are expected to attend.

Matsebula said they were hoping these speakers would give them tips on how to ensure sustainability and profitability of the Swazi sugar industry.

“The speakers will tell us how we can make money. In the past, we were focusing on raw sugar and the price we were getting is rock bottom. Now we are saying we want to explore other sugar types,” he said.

He said there were several types of sugar, which include raw, brown sugar for direct consumption, VHP (which is taken through another production process in Swaziland to remove certain elements so that it’s a light brown) and refined sugar (white).

He added that they also wanted to explore how they could use sugar in electricity development as well as in the production of bio-fuels.

Matsebula said already, some companies were producing ethanol from sugar products as part of the ingredients in the production of fuel. The Simunye sugar mill, for example, is already doing an experiment in fuel production. Also, USA Distillers has been producing ethanol from molasses, which is a sugar by-product.

Swazi Times

12 July 2007

Crocodile scare almost stops reed-cutting

LOFOKATI - A crocodile scare almost brought the cutting of the reed to a stop yesterday.

About 100 members of the Lutsango regiment opted to take no chances and watched from afar, staying away from the cutting site.

The area is swampy, with water about a knee high. It also has clay, the reed grows in the swamp.

The women believed that a crocodile might be there because they believe it lives in swampy areas as well.

Residents of Lofokati had told the regiment that they had seen a crocodile, the previous day sending fear to the thousands of women who had woken up to cut the reed next to a river.

The police and male leaders took some time in the suspected pond searching for the crocodile.

They did not find it but only saw its ‘footprints’ along the cutting site.

“The prints are fresh, it looks like it was here but we have searched thoroughly and we will make sure the regiment is safe,” said Mfokati Dlamini of Ludzidzini.

Regiment leaders and police officers had to lead the way into the cutting site ‘esidzidzini’.

Police assured them that crocodiles did not feed in winter, so even if it was there it would not have attacked them.

Some of the regiment defied an order to go back into the swamp to cut more reed by their leader, Ayllene Dlamini.

She had announced that the women should go back into the swamp to cut more reed for the many tourists who had come to watch the whole ceremony.

This year alone there have been about five crocodile attacks in the Lubombo Region that claimed three lives.
Swazi Observer

11 July 2007

D1 Oils spreads wings
By Bongile Mavuso


D1 Oils is strengthening its relations with international partners in an effort to speed up the electricity production process, through bio- mass, for rural areas in the country.


One of their partners Helius Energy has assured that the project has a potential where the rural communities would produce it at cheaper costs.

On the other hand, the company has secured partnership with Sir Bob Geldof, who is in the country on a private visit to D1 Oils. He is set to visit all D1 Oils farms to see the project on the Jatropha plant, which he said had been a deserted and unnoticed plant in many African countries.

Geldof said the rural communities could benefit immensely from the project as they could generate income as well as cheaper electricity from biomass.

He stated that his major interest in the project was to ensure job creation among the rural people and the self-generation of power through ethanol.

Helius Energy Chairperson Alex Worrall said bio fuels were a cheaper source of power production and this can work for Swazis.

He stated that having the community grow Jatropha plants on their own land and use the remainder of the product to produce ethanol and power would work as an economic advantage for the rural communities.

“People in the rural areas own the land and the Jatropha plants from which nuts and bio mass material can be obtained. Out of the bio- mass electricity may be produced at cheaper costs. So this is an advantage to them as their property would be generating income for them, as well as have electricity power cheaper,” he said.

He stated that they had discussed the possibility of power production with the Swaziland Electricity Board (SEB) managers, who supported the idea.

He said networks can be built on the current SEB power supply structure.

D1 Oils Director Gaetang Ning said they currently have six farms in the country, four in the Shiselweni region (with the main one at Hluti), Crydon and at the table mountain (behind Green Valley lodge).

He said the company initiated a project with the communities where they grow the Jatropha plants and sell them to D1 Oils for processing.

The plants take about three months to mature for harvesting.

Worrall said the challenge is to get the people to understand the concept of electricity generation from bio-fuels, both as a source of cheaper electricity as well as economic gain for them.

The Helius Energy has been involved in a United Kingdom integrated bio-energy project, situated at the Port of Immigration on the Humber River.

This project generates 65 MWe of renewable energy, sufficient for about 120 000 of UK homes. It uses 350 000 dry tonnes biomass as fuel, mainly wood, spent grains and oilseed cake.

The project produces 350 000 tonnes per year of liquid biofuels, saving 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Swazi Times

11 July 2007

Poverty activist Bob Geldof in SD


MATSAPHA – Well known musician and poverty activist Sir Bob Geldof would like to perform in the country.

Sir Geldof is best known for organising the 1985 Live Aid Benefit Concert for starving African children – inspired by the 1984 BBC documentary about famine in Ethiopia.

Bob Geldof also recently put together new concerts to pressure wealthy governments to come to the aid of impoverished people.

In an interview yesterday on arrival at the Matsapha International Airport, Geldof said even though he had not thought about staging a concert in the country, it would be fun to play here.

“It would be fun to play – we have played in South Africa a couple of times, and we would be coming back, we will play in April of next year. So maybe it’s possible – I suppose I should play in Swaziland sometime,” Sir Geldof said while laughing at the idea.

Other international artists that performed in the country under the auspices of charity include guitarist, Eric Clapton Joanna Armatrading.

Sir Geldof is in the country courtesy to D1 Oil, and he is expected to return to England tonight.

He landed at the Matsapha International on board a chartered helicopter about two hours later than his scheduled time. He was met at the airport by the local director of D1 Oil, Gaetan Ning.

He was accompanied by founders of D1 oil and Helius Energy, a company listed on the stock exchange.

Swazi Observer

10 July 2007

By Winile Mavuso


SPORTS - Ludzidzini Governor Jim Gama has called for the punishment of athletes who go to compete in international competitions and fail to win anything.


The Governor was addressing the All Africa Games team, which had paid a courtesy call to the Royal Residence yesterday.

Bidding farewell to the athletes, Gama asked the Director of Sports and Culture, Maswazi Shongwe, if there was any punishment for athletes who failed to bring anything from international competitions.

He noted that each time the Director’s office sends athletes to participate in international competitions they fail to bring any positive results.

Gama wanted to know if such people were punished and if not, why? “Is there a punishment for the athletes who lose every time they go to compete outside the country? If not, why are they not punished? There should a punishment for athletes who lose as well as a reward for those who win,” he said.

Gama said athletes go to international games, lose and come back home as if everything was okay.

He urged the athletes to bring good results from the All Africa Games and further wished them luck. “Discipline is the major key to success,” he warned the athletes.

He urged them to respect one another, saying people were going to see the country through them and therefore it was very important that they conduct themselves in a good way.

“It is our norm as Swazis to pass by the Royal Residence to get blessings each time we go to war, people have so many beliefs and ours is that our ancestors will bless and go with you as you leave for Algeria,” he said.

The team consists of six athletes and the same number of officials. The athletes were chosen from different sporting disciplines and include Sports Man of the year boxer Simanga ‘The Boer’ Shiba, who will be accompanied by Swaziland National Boxing Association (SWABA) President Zakhele Zulu and Volunteer of the year award winner and coach Samuel Tsambokhulu.

Other athletes are Siphesihle Mdluli (Athletics - H. Marathon) to be accompanied by Ewart Ndlangamandla and Thokozani Nhlabatsi (Equestrian) who is accompanied by Zakhele Dlamini. Other athletes are Makhosini Shabalala (weightlifting) accompanied by Mbuso Magongo, Thulani Gina (lawn tennis) accompanied by Dumsani Maphalala and Bheki Nkambule (Taekwondo) maneged by Zakhele Dlamini.

Fred McFaden, who is Chef de Mission left the country on Thursday, and will be joined by the team in Algeria today. Also part of the delegation was Director of Sports and Culture Maswazi Shongwe.

The games will run from Monday until the 23rd of July. The team is expected back home on July 25.


Swazi Times

10 July 2007

Minimum pension increases to E600


MBABANE – The minimum monthly pension for retired civil servants has been increased to E600.

This means that even people who left the civil service in the lowest rung of the salary ladder will at least get E600 each month on retirement. Such people could be cleaners, drivers, switchboard operators, typists and others.

While still active, the lowest paid civil servant earns about E1 200.

The annuity paid to retired employees depends on the salary scale of the pensioner at the time of exit from the civil service.

At least 13 536 current pensioners are expected to benefit from the increase. All along, the minimum annuity was E500. This means that it has since been increased by 20 percent. The Public Service Pensions Fund’s annual report confirms this increase.

It also states that all other pensions were increased by 6.5 percent effective April 1, 2006.

Another change was that effective from the same date, all benefit payments are now being made through direct bank transfer and not by cheque. This was done to ensure that no benefits remain unclaimed because of unpresented cheques.

The change will also minimise the risk of fraud. The fund will publish names of members and dependants who have not claimed benefits for a specified period to come forward.

Swazi Observer

5 July 2007

Times Sunday editor faces jail term
By Timothy Simelane


TIMES of Swaziland Sunday Editor Mbongeni Mbingo faces a maximum two-year jail term if he is eventually found guilty of contempt of parliament for expressing his opinion about the affairs of the House of Assembly.


Alternatively, he could just pay a E400 fine. The House refused to be educated nor corrected on the right of expression and freedom of the press, continuing to pass a motion to probe Mbingo for allegedly saying the Speaker, Prince Guduza, was wrong to block Mtfongwaneni MP Mfomfo Nkambule from raising an issue during a parliamentary session last week.

Nkambule had intended to seek explanation from Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Prince David about the alleged intended amendments to the Constitution when the speaker said he was out of order. This prompted the editor to write a comment in which he criticised the Speaker and House in general for taking the alleged plot to amend the Constitution lightly.

Yesterday, MP Mandlenkhosi Dlamini stood on a point of privilege to say Mbingo had grossly insulted the House and Speaker, thus he deserved punishment. He said parliament should form a select committee that would probe Mbingo and further recommend punishment.

“The author of this paper says the Speaker refused to allow the MP to speak about the Constitution, something that is wrong. This author is ignorant of parliament rules and procedure, yet he runs roughshod to criticise us from an uninformed position. If the Speaker saw that the issue was not urgent, there was no need for the author to criticise him as he did. The MP had no right to say an issue was urgent just because it had appeared in the newspapers,” he said.

Dlamini was supported by Kukhanyeni MP Clement Dlamini who said the editor should be taken to task because he had exceeded the limits of freedom of expression.

“The MP (Mfomfo) had an option to file a notice paper not to bring the issue to parliament as one of urgency. The Speaker ruled him out of order,” he added.

Meanwhile, Titus Thwala, Zombodze Emuva MP, warned his colleagues that probing the newspaper would be wrong because the editor was exercising his freedom of expression as enshrined in the national Constitution. He further said if the Speaker felt insulted, he was entitled to sue for defamation. Thwala also said it was disappointing that MPs had failed to wear thick skins in the four years they had been in office.

“As MPs, we must develop a rhinoceros hide and internal shock absorbers. We should also not forget the principles of freedom of expression and the press. We must play the ball not the man,” he further warned.

On the other hand, Shiselweni 1 MP Vusi Sithole said MPs should not allow newspapers to insult them. “Asithandi ukuthukwa ngeyinhlamba.”

MP Mphiwa Dlamini supported the motion to probe the newspaper, saying if it was not upheld, a bad precedent would be set.

However, Sithobela MP Patrick Mamba said the motion should be rejected because it was too petty and parliament business should not be expended for it. “There is nothing sinister in the article. Let us reject the motion,” he suggested.

Patrick Pha Motsa, Mangcongco MP, concurred, saying the motion should be rejected because there had been several other articles in the media, all criticising MPs for one thing or another. He wondered why there had been no select committees then.

“Just recently, there have been comments about the health portfolio committee report that was rejected by the House. No one probed the newspapers.”

Kwaluseni MP Sibusiso Nkambule also agreed, adding that the motion should be rejected because it sought to prevent the editor from expressing his opinion.


. . . I’m ready to

go to jail - Editor


TIMES of Swaziland Sunday Editor Mbongeni Mbingo says he is willing to go to jail for expressing himself as part of his Constitutional right.

Mbingo said he was flabbergasted at the decision by parliament to waste tax payers’ money through probing him. “I’m flabbergasted parliament would waste so much money on such an issue which is clearly based on freedom of expression.”

He further said he stood by his story and would remain so even after the probe had completed its work. “I’m prepared to stay in jail for expressing my thoughts,” he added.

Mbingo said his comment was merely based on an issue that took place in parliament.


The select committee members are:

* Shiselweni MP Enos Vilane

* Zombodze MP Titus Thwala

* MP Mphiwa Dlamini

* Mayiwane MP Vusi Dlamini

* Matsanjeni MP Mlivo Shiba


There was, however, commotion in the House when a majority of MPs declined appointment into the select committee. They all made various excuses.

These were:

* Maphalaleni MP Siza Dlamini

* Lugongolweni MP Wiseman Ntshingila

* Chief Solani

* Ngwemphisi MP Vulindlela Msibi

* MP Moi Moi Masilela

* Nkhaba MP Thulani Dlamini

* Sigwe MP Mangena Jele

* Sithobela MP Magwebetane Mamba


Swazi Times

5 July 2007

Teacher commits suicide after moans from bedroom

By Brian Mohammed

VUSWENI - A steamy window and alleged moans from a bedroom are for now suspected to have resulted to a teacher here committing suicide.

Last Friday 32-year-old Tsembani Ndlovu, a Home Economics teacher at Vusweni Primary School is said to have knocked off from school and headed home, which is less than a kilometre from the school to bake her boyfriend (teacher at the school) a nice chocolate cake.

In the evening the boyfriend is said to have visited his lover at her homestead and spent the night. He also ate the chocolate cake halfway.

However, when Saturday afternoon came it was a different story altogether.

On Saturday afternoon, Ndlovu decided to visit her boyfriend in his room at the school’s teachers’ quarters.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested that when she knocked on the door there was no answer.

She went to her boyfriend’s bedroom window where she was met by a steamy glass and moans of enjoyment from inside.

It is still unclear what happened after that, but according to information gathered from Ndlovu’s grandmother Monica Sihlongonyane she was surprised to be welcomed by her granddaughter’s silky stocking tied on her hanging body from the neck in the early hours of Sunday.

“On Saturday she had not showed any signs of distress and in the morning I had gone to wake her up as per her mother’s instruction but I was shocked to find what she had done,” she said.

She further said on numerous occasions her granddaughter would complain bitterly about the treatment her boyfriend was giving her.

“I tried talking to her but it seems she was overwhelmed by what she witnessed at her boyfriend’s house. In her suicide note she requested that we look after her son Sabelo because she had given up on life,” she said.

Ndlovu’s death comes barely two days before the release of her university examination results which were to determine if she would be graduating later this year or not.

“I was positive that she was going to graduate this year and it is unfortunate that she decided to take her life because of a love affair that had gone sour,”Sihlongonyane said.
Swazi Observer

4 July 2007

By Timothy Simelane


THE Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) has registered concerns that medical doctors are reluctant to attend to rape cases because of the wearisome process of preserving and presenting evidence before court.


On average, over 300 women and children are raped every year. SWAGAA said the reluctance of doctors was a setback to concerted efforts to bring to litigation all rape cases.

The organisation’s National Director, Nonhlanhla Dlamini, said it had come to SWAGAA’s attention that doctors deliberately shied away from rape cases for various reasons.

“After the extensive work in attending to victims, the doctors are then expected to come to court where they have to submit the evidence and be cross-examined.

Sometimes they shelve important appointments with patients and rush to court where they are unfortunately made to wait for hours to be called in. Sometimes the waiting does not pay off, as the doctors are told the case has been postponed,” she said.

Dlamini said the case was aggravated by the long and vigorous cross-examination process doctors were made to go through during trial.

She said the number of women and girls raped was larger by far because many rape cases were not reported to SWAGAA, adding that her organisation was currently engaged in efforts to tabulate all rape cases.

Government general orders state that only state doctors are allowed to attend to rape cases.

Dlamini first raised the concern at a workshop to plan a series of activities as part of the 365 Days of Action Against Gender-Based Violence held at Orion Hotel in Pigg’s Peak over the weekend.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mumcy Dlamini who was in attendance, said the alleged reluctance was unfortunate, adding that a united approach was essential to resolve the problem.

She also alluded to the fact that there was currently a backlog of cases in courts, something that was slowing down the litigation machinery.

Meanwhile, some private doctors contacted yesterday agreed that presenting evidence in court was becoming tedious, given the long hours of waiting involved.

“Any doctor is justified to avoid waiting in benches outside court at the expense of the lives of his/her numerous clients,” said a Mbabane medical practitioner who declined to be named. On the other hand, the SWAGAA director also said the distance between police stations and hospitals was a deterrent for rape survivors to report cases.

“If a woman has been raped, she does not take a bath and has to travel all the way to the police station to report. From there, she also has to travel all the way to hospital for treatment. In all these incidents, she has not taken a bath. This is one way in which we lose the victims because they sometimes feel it is not worth it to go through all this trouble, so they just decide to drop the case,” she said.

Health Principal Secretary Nomathemba Dlamini was consistently said to be in meetings when efforts were made to contact her. When further efforts were made to contact the under secretary, his personal secretary refused to entertain this newspaper, saying there was a memorandum barring the under secretary from speaking to the media.

Mbabane Government Hospital’s senior medical officer could also not be reached as the new memorandum prevents her from talking to the media as well.


Swazi Times

4 July 2007

Teacher pays E500 for beating pupil (8)


MBABANE – The contentious issue of corporal punishment took centre-stage yesterday when a teacher found herself having to pay a parent E500 to take an injured child to hospital.

The E500 was offered by the apologetic female teacher from one of the leading primary schools in Mbabane for the child’s medical bills after the boy’s infuriated mother had called in the police to probe the assault.

The Grade 1 pupil, Samson* (8) was allegedly assaulted by his teacher (name known to this newspaper), and had visible fresh scars on his face and a lump at the back of his head. Samson, who was found at his mother’s workplace said: “Ungishaye ngoba ngone i-date (I was beaten for wrongfully writing the date).”

Usually, Samson said they did not underline the date, but he forgot about this rule yesterday. To jog the pupil’s mind, it is alleged that the teacher took a stick and whipped the young lad all over the body.

Samson explained that most of his colleagues were not sparred from the beating as they had also underlined the date. After school, little Samson trekked to his mother’s workplace, that is situated near a filling station around Mbabane. Upon arrival, the shocked mother is said to have asked her son about the scars on the face.

The mother, Sisi* said Samson gave her a letter of apology from the teacher that had no school stamp or date. Sisi showed this reporter the letter, it had no date and school stamp.

The letter reads: “Dear Mtali, Umntfwana ushayeke kabi ngimshaye emhlane. Ngicela ungicolele. Thishela wakhe.”

Upon inspecting the child on the back, there were no bruises or any signs that he was beaten.

Sisi mentioned that soon after reading the letter, she then took her son, and went straight to report the matter to the police station.

“The police accompanied me to the school. We did not find the principal, but found the teacher. She apologised and offered to foot the medical expenses.

“We then went to the Salvation Army Clinic, and we were told that they could not help us because this was an assault and needed a police report first.

“The teacher then suggested that we go to the government hospital. I refused, telling her that my doctor was based in Manzini.

“She then offered me the E500,” she explained.

She showed the Times reporter the money.

The teacher could not be reached for comment at the time of compiling this report, as she had knocked off from work.

Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed that the matter was reported to them.

He added that Mbabane police were still investigating it.

*Not their real names.