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By The Editor - SWAZI TIMES-10-Sep-2009

Who must die? Editors Comment

It’s all well and good that Public Works and Transport Minister Ntuthuko Dlamini has introduced a new breathalyser to curb drink-driving, but there is an equally large threat on our roads that needs even more urgent attention.

Animals continue to cost this country dearly in terms of human resources in as much as drink-driving has, but there appears less effort to get the stray animal owners behind bars compared to the millions of Emalangeni government gets to report to us in drink- driving fines.

Can the minister tell us how much has been received by the state in fines for stray cattle? Or rather how much has it cost the taxpayer to hire roadside herd boys and feed for animal pounds and the staff compared to what the culprits pay for the ‘safekeeping of their pets’.


Who must die before people get locked up instead of paying paltry fines at the council pound for the release of their animals? The Prime Minister or the Head of State? We are aware that the Public Works and Transport minister has initiated tough measures against owners of stray animals but what we see on the roads is a total defiance of his campaign, which clearly indicates that the message is far from registering in the minds of those who should be making every effort possible to keep their pets, cattle or whatever creature that has the potential of roaming carelessly without guard, away from causing harm. That a dog can cause the death of a senior police officer demonstrates how cheap life has become on the country’s roads.

The branding of cattle also appears to be moving at a snail’s pace. It is a fact that a lot of ‘untouchables’ in this country boast of large herds of cattle, so there may be little to look forward to in terms of action. The minister, however, has a job to do and he should have no fear in dealing with the higher ups, who at times would question him on harmless things such as uprooted guava trees.

Thank you for the new breathalyser minister, now we need sophisticated handcuffs that have no eyes for the stray animal owners who deserve to be charged with culpable homicide where a life has been lost as a result of their carelessness.

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