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October 2008

 

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More hold-ups for anti-graft body

Main Section

The Mercury -01-Oct-2008

Mbabane - Swaziland's new anti-corruption commission, sworn in on Tuesday after months of delays, has pledged to crack down on graft in the impoverished kingdom.

Commission chief Michael Mtegha said that although 23 complaints had been filed since the commission had been established in 2007, a lack of financing had prevented it from starting work.

Actual investigations would not begin until later in the year.

"There is still a lot to be done in educating Swazis on what is corruption," he said.

Former finance minister Majozi Sithole said in his budget speech at the start of the year that corruption had cost the country about 40-million emalangeni (R40-million) every month.

But political analyst Vusi Sibisi said the new commission was aimed mainly at appeasing international donors who had pressed the tiny kingdom to crack down on graft.

"So far, there has been no political will from the authorities to combat corruption," he said.

United Nations figures show that about two-thirds of Swaziland's 1,14 million people live in poverty and 40 percent of adults are infected with HIV.

In September, Swaziland's king, Mswati III, who is renowned for his free-spending lifestyle, staged a lavish celebration to mark 40 years of the country's independence from Britain and his 40th birthday.

The state-sponsored celebration set the country back 100-million emalangeni (R100-million).

Mtegha said the commission would host a national anti-graft summit later in the year to highlight the problem in the country, which is Africa's sole absolute monarchy.


Cultivating young farmers

Main Section

MANTOE PHAKATHI-Mail and Guardian online-01-Oct-2008

When her friends go out to play with a skipping rope during break, 12-year-old Noncedo Masina takes her watering can and goes to work on her plot in the school vegetable garden

The grade seven pupil at Boyane Primary School, in the western part of Swaziland's administrative capital Mbabane is a participant in the Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) Junior Farmer Field and Life Skills (JFFLS) initiative, which grooms children to be farmers at a young age.

"I enjoy working in the garden because I know I will get food once the vegetables are ready," says Masina shyly. "I always join my friends to play after school only after I've finished working on my plot."

Masina lost her parents after they fell sick and died in 2003, leaving her in the care of her grandmother. Food security was a big challenge in this household until Masina was placed in the JFFLS project. Now she often brings home cabbages, spinach, onions or carrots and donated food hampers.

Twenty-six orphans and vulnerable children at this primary school are able to put food on the table through the garden, where they have both individual and communal plots. JFFLS started in 2005 as a year-long training project for school-going orphans and vulnerable children, who, afterwards, are expected to develop their own gardens at home and pass on the skills to their families and communities.

"From the individual plots the children cultivate vegetables that they take home, while vegetables from the communal plots are sold to the community to generate income for further agricultural projects," says Joyce Mkhaliphi, the school's project facilitator.

Having earned about R750 since April from selling vegetables from the garden, Mkhaliphi says they are planning to carry out a suggestion made by FAO director general Jacques Diouf when he visited one of the project's 21 sites during a three-day visit to Swaziland in September. Diouf observed that additional skills could be passed on to these children by including more agricultural initiatives such as horticulture, dairy, poultry and fish ponds.

"We don't need a lot of money for this -- just something between $5 000 [about R40 000] and $10 000 [about R80 000] to get going," said Diouf.

Agricultural development and production is the most sustainable solution to soaring prices of food, fuel and other basic commodities. Therefore FAO - in partnership with other United Nations agencies such as the World Food Programme, the United Nations Populations Fund and the United Nations Children's Fund -- and the government of Swaziland are helping orphans and vulnerable children to learn agriculture and water conservation skills.

According to Sibusiso Mondlane, FAO project coordinator, the World Food Programme also provides the children who are part of the JFFLS initiative with take-home food rations comprising maize, cooking oil and beans.

"UNFPA deals with adolescent and reproductive health issues, Unicef provides life skills and the ministry of agriculture helps with technical expertise," says Mondlane. "Participants in this project are between 12 and 18 years old."

The idea is to catch them young, says Diouf. "It is good to see these children working in the garden and identifying elements where we should improve the programme."

He says that children need to be educated and nurtured so that they are convinced that farming is important for achieving food security.

Swaziland's National Disaster Management Agency chairperson, Ben Nsibandze, says some children born since the 1990s -- when drought crippled the country's agriculture -- do not know anything other than food aid because their parents have given up farming.

"What some young ones do is queue up for food rations and never get to acquire the much-needed agricultural skills at home," says Nsibandze.

Swaziland has more than 260 000 people in need of food aid this year -- a decline from last year's 410 000, but still a serious concern.

With 75-million hungry people in the world in 2007, according to Diouf, at a time when the world is working towards halving the number of people without adequate food by 2015, he urges Swaziland and all African countries to adhere to the commitment made in the Maputo declaration in 2003 in which African heads of state said they would double their agriculture budgets from 5% to 10%.

"I'm happy that Swaziland has increased its budget from 3% to 7% . However, I'd be very happy if the country would further increase the budget to 10% as it was agreed in 2003," says Diouf.

Only six of 53 countries in Africa, he says, have risen to the challenge so far. He says 90% of agriculture in Africa is dependent on rainfall. To reduce the vulnerability of farmers on this land governments should invest more in agriculture to build dams and canals and improve agricultural technology.

Meanwhile, FAO is assisting poor farmers with cash vouchers with which to buy seeds, fertilisers and tools. From September 29 the UN will run week-long input trade fairs to ease the burden of high prices for farm inputs.

Farmers in only two of Swaziland's four regions will benefit from this year's planting season because the budget has been slashed from $3-million (about R24,4-million) to $500 000 (just over R4-million). Last year the input trade fairs were funded by the European Commission on Humanitarian Organisation to the tune of $1,5 million (about R12,2-million), while the other half came from the UN's Central Emergency and Response Fund. This year FAO is funding the project.

"The reality of Africa and most developing countries is that the majority of poor people are in rural areas and have small plots where they can grow their food," says Diouf. "We need to develop these people."

Unfortunately some of the vulnerable people who live in Swaziland's rural areas are not interested in cultivating food because they have been discouraged by the prolonged drought and the burden of HIV/Aids-related diseases.

"Some people who get these farm inputs end up selling them to get money to buy food because they don't have the patience that goes with farming," says Lindiwe Tsabedze, a rural health motivator in drought-stricken Siphofaneni.

With luck, this new generation of enthusiastic young farmers will become the foundation for future food security.


SOS IRB Kit Aid makes 100th delivery

Main Section

IRB-01-Oct-2008

Seven years after sending its first batch of rugby kit, SOS IRB Kit Aid made its 100th delivery last weekend, to the African country of Swaziland.

The delivery to Africa was the rugby charity's first outside of Eastern Europe since John Broadfoot set it up to help Romania and neighbouring countries in 2001.

It takes the total value of kit donated by clubs, schools and manufacturers to developing rugby nations to £1.5 million.

Swaziland Rugby Union President Michael Collinson was delighted to receive the kit. He recently set up another rugby charity SKRUM - Swaziland Kids Rugby Mission - and is introducing over 100 school children to rugby each week in Swaziland, while also using the contact time to educate them in HIV/AIDS prevention and social responsibility.

"Tomorrow we are dispensing it to the poorer families and you will not believe their reaction when they see it and realise that it is free.”

"A huge thank you to all at SOS, we cannot believe we have received such kit," said Collinson. SOS IRB Kit Aid is already its next African delivery to South Africa in October and also hopes to supply kit to Kenya and Uganda before the end of 2008.


SCREW-DRIVER KILLER ON THE RUN

Main Section

Timothy Simelane- Swazi Observer-01-Oct-2008

A man died on the spot after he was stabbed by his half brother eight times with a screw driver in the stomach during a fight at Vusweni on Sunday night.

The body of 70-year-old Mkhipheni Bhembe was found lying on a pool of blood within a hut at a Tshabalala homestead on Monday morning. The deceased’s brother, Daniel, said the suspected killer, Sonnyboy Bhembe, was still on the run after the incident. Daniel said the deceased had attended a funeral service at Endlembeni before deciding to go to Sankolweni where there was an occasion to remove cattle manure from the kraal at their aunt’s place. “After helping the family with removing the manure, he decided to spend the night there, opting to go home early in the morning. He was accommodated with another relative in one room.”

Daniel said a fight broke out during the night, in which Mkhipheni and another relative, Sikhumbuzo Vilakati, were stabbed with the screw driver. However, Vilakati sustained a minor injury. What has baffled the community and the police is that Vilakati had not reported the incident hastily to the police until the body was discovered in the morning. Vilakati is said to have run to a homestead close-by to seek help after the stabbing incident. Another relative, Alfred, said some pupils said they had seen Sonnyboy walking to a bush area on Monday afternoon, but had not reported the incident to the police. “At the time, they did not know that he was wanted in connection with the killing of Mkhipheni.”

Alfred said Bhembe was drunk on Sunday during the cattle manure removal exercise. It was said that he also attempted to stab one Mxolisi with a screw driver during a short quarrel. Some people alleged that during the removal of cattle manure, a heated argument had ensued between the deceased and two others. Police Assistant Public Relations Officer Sergeant Stephen Dlamini confirmed the incident and said Manzini police were still investigating the circumstances that led to the murder.


Cop's wife accused of adultery

Main Section

Sabelo Mamba- Swazi Observer-01-Oct-2008

A Nhlangano-based police officer wants a court order cancelling his marriage on the grounds that his wife is committing adultery.

Casper Bhekithemba Simelane, in papers filed at the High Court, accuses Thulisile Mercy Nkwanyana of committing adultery with Hermon Sambo Gule behind his back.
Simelane alleges that his wife had on several committed adultery with Gule during his temporal absence from his marital home.
The police officer says the sexual encounters between his wife and Gule occurred in the year 2000.
Simelane says his wife confessed to him that she was having sexual relationship with Gule.
Information
“Upon obtaining this information from my wife, I then caused summons to be issued against Gule for damages and the matter is still awaiting allocation of a trial date by the Registrar of the High Court,” he explains.
“I tried to forgive my wife for what she did to me whilst I was still in love with her but in the year 2003, I could not take it any more because she was violent and never listened to me.”
Living
He says, as a result, for the past five years he had been living with his first wife whom he lawfully wed before his second Swazi Law and Custom marriage on January 5, 1997.
Simelane now wants the High Court to formally declare that his second marriage no longer exists and that Nkwanyana was no longer his wife in terms of Swazi Law and Custom.
Simelane is being represented by Bongani Dlamini.
The case is pending at the High Court.


"Hat trick" for The African Motion Picture Company

Recreation Section

Bizcommunity-01-Oct-2008

The African Motion Picture Company (TAMPC) scooped the Best Corporate DVD of the Year 2008, for its third successive year at the SA Publication Forum. And this, for the Coca Cola Swaziland corporate video.

Coca Cola has always been able to package and sell their own brand of happiness, hope and inspiration in every can, every bottle and indeed, every bit of above-the-line creative work.

And in keeping with this proud tradition, TAMPC captures the emotions, the highs and lows of its operations, with a high-paced narrative, awesome visuals all led by the hand of a sketch artist, cleverly threading the pieces of its 20-year history in the country.

This winning entry falls into a league of its own: the tempo, rhythm and story being told is a clear and accurate reflection of the phenomenal growth of an exceptional brand, in what is called a ‘modest' African country.

Says creative director Justyn Davies, “We managed to capture the spirit and growth of Coca Cola by replicating this in our creative interpretation which physically grew more colourful, more vivid as the company grew.”

And the Swaziland story is brought to life in a seven-minute work of creative art!

In 2006, TAMPC won Best Corporate DVD for Toyota Corporate and for Ekurhuleni Corporate Investment in 2007.

To add to the tally of awards in 2008, The African Motion Picture Company won first runner-up for the Nedbank “Walk It” DVD Newsletter as well as second runner up for the MTN “Business” in the same category at this year's instalment.

TAMPC is the film and television production arm of the Wisdom Keys Group, and has offices in Bryanston. For more information, please call Chris West-Russell on Tel (011) 463-5059.


Blame yourselves!

Main Section

The Times of Swaziland-03-Oct-2008

The 750 workers dismissed for engaging in a wild cat strike over non payment for the 40/40 double celebrations holiday as well as the elections holiday at Juris Textile Factory in Nhlangano have nobody but themselves to blame for their misery.

These were not gazetted paid holidays under the labour law and therefore employers were not obliged to pay them. If these workers had a proper union that had their best interest at heart it would have stopped them and advised on proper grievance procedure. In this day and age, where employment is as scarce as the help provided by government to the needy, there is no room for ‘do as you please’ against the employer, no matter what the grievance.

The workers should know grievance procedure by now and they should use it to safeguard the little jobs they have, even if the pay does not qualify their work to be called jobs.

Transparent

Apart from the holiday pay grievances, workers had several other issues with the employers such as the inconsistent employment procedures at the company, in particular the three months renewable contracts they were being given while others got permanent employ. The selection criteria, they allege, is not transparent. Still this does not warrant an illegal strike.

The company supplies clothing to major companies such as Woolworths whose workers have also downed tools for several days now, but theirs is a legal one and the employer cannot dismiss them at whim. Why can’t the locals learn from this?

It’s time the dismissed workers fired their union leaders for misleading them.

To the employer, mine would be to appeal for forgiveness and re-employ the workers with final warnings. We cannot afford so many unemployed women with thousands of dependents to go one day without a job.


Runaway truck smashes through student's house

Main Section

Sisho Magagula- Swazi Observer-03-Oct-2008

A truck caused quite a spectacle at Kwaluseni yesterday when it veered off the road and smashed into a university student's one-room flat next to the Gwamile Voctim.

The truck, which belongs to the Top Hits, was transporting sand to Ludzeludze when the driver lost control of it at the corner adjacent to the Gwamile Voctim gate. The occupant of the house, Manqoba Maziya said he had just left the house on his way to the campus when he suddenly heard a loud bang.

"When I looked back, my room, which I had just left a few seconds ago, was in pieces, concrete blocks lying on the ground. On closer inspection, I saw a blue truck right inside my room and my belongings were scattered everywhere." he said.

The truck was from the Mahhala direction and no other vehicle was involved in the fracas.

There were two passengers and the driver on board. Soon after the crash, the two passengers are said to have quickly got out of the truck and ran a few metres away, in complete shock.

"I think they had lost their minds but we called the police and the fire department who responded promptly and rushed the driver to the RFM Hospital," said Mabuza.

Mabuza had paid rent in advance for his one room, which is E280 per month.

Almost all his personal items were damaged, including a Defy refrigerator, personal computer worth E5 500, two cellphones, a double bed, and hot plate.

'I don't know what I'm going to do. I have been virtually left homeless. Above all this, I had bought my monthly grocery yesterday and all of it has been destroyed. But I'm glad I was not inside the flat when all this happened, maybe I would be dead by now," he said.

The owner of the truck, identified only as Top Hits, has agreed to rebuild the one room flat but it remains unclear if Maziya will be compensated for his loss.


Look for jobs outside the country, says King

Main Section

SIBONGILE SUKATI -Sunday Times Of Swaziland -05-Oct-2008

KWALUSEN -In light of the acute shortage of real jobs, the king has encouraged graduands to look for jobs outside the country.

The king said there was no doubt that Swazis could export their skills to other countries and international organisations.

The king made these remarks at the 28th Graduation Ceremony of the University of Swaziland held at the Kwaluseni Campus yesterday.

The king, who was represented by Prince Masitsela, said at the last graduation ceremony he challenged the university to carry out a study to find out what happens to graduates after leaving the institution.

Fears

"The study has confirmed our fears that a lot of graduates are without jobs," he said.

He urged government and UNISWA to work together in finding an immediate solution to this problem.

"However, our comfort is that our education is highly competitive in the job market and we are confident that our graduates can work anywhere in the world," he said.

"We can export our skills to other countries and international organisations in order to bring home foreign currencies for the local money market," he said.

He added that the Swazi international workers would be potential investors for the country.

The king, however, emphasised that labour export would be only a temporary gap filler as everything possible was being done to ensure that employment for all people was available locally in the near future.

Challenges

"We are being forced to resort to gap fillers because the challenges such as the persistent drought, HIV and AIDS and poverty, that we had hoped to overcome soon, have since been joined by even more formidable challenges," he said.

He said the unprecedented increase in fuel and food prices and the crisis in the international finance had worsened the situation.

"It is for this reason that we need the cooperation of every citizen so that we can work together to overcome these challenges," he said.


Pupil dies after de-worming

Main Section

Weekend Observer-05-Oct-2008

A deep mystery surrounds the death of a Sibuyeni Primary school pupil who died after allegedly taking de-worming pills as part of a nationwide school's de-worming programme.

The 11 year-old pupil from this area past Sigombeni, succumbed to a stomach related illness after taking the tablets, on Thursday, September, 18.

That same afternoon, she complained of severe stomach pains and could not go to school the following day.

According to her grandmother S'phiwe Tsabedze, the child told them that she suspected it was the pills she had taken at school that were affecting her, and this was to be confirmed on the following Saturday when she began throwing out worms on all her bodily orifices, that is the anus, mouth and nostrils.

"At first the worms came out slowly and apiece, but later they would just slither out and fall to the ground where they would lump themselves up," the old woman narrated.

The old woman continued that by Saturday, the child could no longer eat while also experiencing severe pains on her throat when she swallowed anything.

"What was surprising was that she was not bedridden and occasionally went to the toilet unassisted, which is why we thought that it was just a passing illness and we never thought of taking her to the Sigombeni Clinic a few kilometres away from Sibuyeni. Her father also came to see her on Saturday, and she told him that she would be alright, although she was still throwing out the worms.

On Sunday, she developed severe pains again and she spent most of the day in bed, and would occasionally ask to be accompanied to the toilet. When we accompanied her every time she went to relieve herself, we would inspect the stools, where we saw the worms every time she passed the watery stools," the grandmother continued.

Tsabedze added that on Monday, she tried to induce her to vomit by sticking a feather on her mouth pushing it further down her throat.

"When she did vomit, worms came flooding out of her mouth and I decided to apply enemas on her. I decided that the following day I would take her to the clinic whatever her condition. But on Tuesday the child stated that she wanted to go to school, claiming she was feeling better and we allowed her. But a few minutes later, she was brought back by some of her schoolmates who said they found her lying next to the road after she had fainted.

She began losing strength lolling about while writhing in pain. I then called neighbours who also suggested that it was time she was taken to hospital. While we were preparing for that, she died before we could even depart." Gogo Tsabedze said.

The old woman further stated that the child was healthy and by the time her sickness began, she was in full health, which is why they were convinced that the de-worming pills may have had something to do with her premature death.


Central Bank issues stern warning to money launderers

Business Section

Swazi Observer-06-Oct-2008

IN an effort to curb money laundering in the country, the Central Bank of Swaziland (CBS) is imploring customers of financial institutions to furnish these with information confirming proof of residence.

In a press release issued by Head of Corporate Communications Sibusiso Mngadi, the CBS, in conjunction with local banks and the Swaziland Building Society, issued a warning to customers who were not adhering to the requirements of the Money Laundering (Prevention) Act of 2001.

"In terms of the 'Know Your Customer' requirement in guidelines issued by the Central Bank in 2002, customers are required to furnish certain information to confirm proof of residence to complete their account details in the files of their bankers," the statement read.

Mngadi added that customers who had not satisfied this requirement were required to submit the requested information as soon as possible and no later than March 31, 2009.

He added that customers who failed to provide the requested information risked reduction to access the full services of their financial institutions.

"The Act was a response to the knowledge that banks and other financial institutions may be unwittingly used as intermediaries for the transfer or deposit of funds derived from criminal activity," he explained.

Adding, Mngadi said it was understood that criminals and their associates use the financial system to make payments and transfers of funds from one account to another to hide the source and beneficial ownership of money as well as to provide storage for bank notes through safe-deposit facilities.

"In line with the Act, the Central Bank of Swaziland issued a circular to all financial institutions calling upon them to institute effective procedures to establish the identity of their customers," he said, adding: "the circular insists that prospective customers be interviewed personally and positive identification be obtained."

He urged customers to adhere to the requirements of the Act by providing the required information to their financial institutions before the deadline.


Calm down, MTN assures customers

Main Section

Nelsiwe Ndlangamandla- Swazi Observer-06-Oct-2008

MTN has assured customers it is doing the best it can to ensure that there is minimal interference on the network.

Head of Cooperate Services, Pholile Dlamini said this is caused by that the company is doing upgrades.

MTN apolo gises to all its customers about the interference.

By Friday the company would have finished the second phase of the upgrade. After this time it is expected that there will be normal service. The last phase of the upgrades will be in November where interruptions may be expected. In an earlier interview Dlamini said the company is crossing over to the Next Generation Networks. She said upgrading the system will improve the capacity and quality of the network system.

"The upgrades started in September and are being done in stages. We are now on the second phase which is due to be completed by October 10, 2008. During the upgrades network interruptions may occur from time to time as has been experienced in the past few days," said Dlamini.

During the upgrades some customers may not be have difficulties in connecting to the nertwork. Dlamini stated that this was caused by an increase in traffic on the network

"This caused an abnormal increase in traffic on the network resulting in high network congestion levels as a result of which other customers were not able to make calls," she said.

Some customers were calling for free on Friday and she said those customers would not be charged for the units they used.


Nontsetselelo scoops Miss KFC title

Recreation Section

Mphikeleli Msibi- Swazi Observer-06-Oct-2008

NONTSETSELELO Simelane, a Form V pupil at Nhlangano Central High School, on Saturday walked away with the Miss KFC Swaziland title, outclassing 19 other hopefuls.

This was during an event held at the Mavuso Trade and Exhibition Centre, Pavillion II.

The beauty queen's princesses are Nosipho Ndzinisa (first) and Swazi Mngomezulu (second).

This means that beauty runs in the Simelane families this year as our Miss Swaziland Tiffany together with her princesses are Simelanes.

The 20 hopefuls of the day paraded in their casual wear, school uniforms, swimwear and evening wear sending the crowd into wild jubilation.

They looked stunning in their evening wear designed by Sphalele Dlamini. Miss Swaziland licence holder, Vinah Mamba-Gray, fashion designer Sphalele Dlamini, Mr Swaziland Okwakhe Dlamini, Miss SD executive committe member Baby Sharp and Swazi TV presenter John Pires were at the event.

The contestants were vibrant, bringing life to the whole event and each time they took to the stage the vibey audience screamed their lungs out.

The queen was one of the audience's favourites and it would seem the judges made the right choice.

The top five girls oozed confidence and none of them was nervous, though, nerves got the better of some of them during the question and answer session. The girls stammered and could not provide proper answers.

After being pronounced the winner, Simelane was really expected to have won.

"I am very excited about being crowned the winner. I think I deserved to win because I was confident and answered questions corretly. I was never nervous because I somehow knew the title was mine," Simelane said.

She said she was not afraid of her competitors and knew that some were scared she would win. Simelane's wish is to preach abstinence among the youth and urge them to stop substance abuse.

"I will definitely be a good ambassador and educate my peers on a number of issues affecting the youth in the country," Simelane said.

She said she would love to help the needy and promised to be the ideal role model.

The event ran smoothly and the contestants displayed brilliant performances throughout, as they were also asked to showcase their talents with a number of them singing and the rest dancing.

The event featured performances by a number of the country's artists who all gave astounding performances, sending the crowd into a wild frenzy.

The event was indeed great and the performances by local groups simply awesome!


Being ashamed of sex is a sin

Main Section

NHLANHLA MATHUNJWA - Swazi Times-06-Oct-2008

MBABANE - South African Pastor Agrippa Khathide says couples should not be ashamed of sex as being ashamed is un-Godly.

He told about 40 couples who had attended a marriage clinic at the Mountain Inn on Saturday, that it was important for them to engage themselves in sexual relationships with their partners at anytime.

"There is absolutely nothing to fear. Once you begin to fear, know very well that you are engaged in sin. God does not want us to sin and therefore let us not sin. We have to engage in sexual relationships without any fear," he said.

He pointed out that Christians have the tendency of thinking that engaging in sex is sinful, yet that is not the case. "I want to tell you that if you are married, you can do sex with you partner at any point in time. Sex was created by God and, therefore, it is important that it be done accordingly," he said.

He also warned couples to stop making the bedroom a courtroom as that was not healthy for them.

"The bedroom is not a courtroom. If you have problems, try to sort them early and do not wait for bed- time. When one is angry, he or she will not be in a position of satisfying his or her partner. When you talk about sex, you talk about satisfaction. We all have to make sure that we satisfy each other at all times. Sex is holy and indeed let us make it holy," he said.

At one point during the service, he also encouraged the couples to kiss each other.


'DU' unhappy with criteria used in Top Lotto fixtures

Sports Section

Sabelo Ndzinisa-Swazi Observer-06-Oct-2008

SOCCER -GREEN Mamba's coach Dumsani Makhanya has punched holes in the format used in fixturing the Top Lotto PLS Cup games.

Speaking shortly after watching his star-studded being held to a goalless draw by an impressive Hub Sundowns on Saturday afternoon at the Trade Fair Ground, Makhanya observed that the fixturing of the games is taking a lot out of his players.

"We played a tough game against Malanti Chiefs on Thursday and a day later, we are fixtured to play this game.

“You can't really expect the players to perform consistently under those conditions and I was not surprised that we could not play our normal game today.

“At the end, I have to be content with the result, although it now leaves us needing to win our last game against Royal Leopards, which won't be easy," he lamented.

His counterpart at Hub, Dennis Terblanche praised his players for their gallant display.

"We were unlucky today because I thought we were better than our opponents. We created a lot of scoring chances but our finishing let us down.

“We are progressing very well and I'm happy with the way my players are responding to instructions.

“We need to work on our finishing for the next game. Our objective is to get as far as possible in the tournament," the young coach said.

The game was largely dominated by Hub, who looked a well-oiled machine, dominating play with some sleek passing and creating a host of scoring chances.

However, the striking force led by Mbongiseni 'Muti' Thwala was all over Mamba defence but putting the ball in the net proved to be the main undoing.

In the 25th minute, 'Muti' found space on the right flank after beating Siyabonga Mdluli but dilly-dallied with the ball until his hastily-taken shot was easily collected by Njabuliso Simelane.

Mamba also created scoring chances of their own, in particular veteran midfielder Maxwell 'King Dunga' Zikalala, who looked the only impressive player in his team's line-up but found beating Sundowns' goalkeeper difficult.

The main focus of this tightly-contested match also shifted to the match officials of the day.

Middleman was surprisingly Sipho Kunene, who normally operates as an assistant referee. To be fair on Kunene, he officiated quite well despite this being first experience blowing the whistle in a tournament of this magnitude.

What was further interesting was the fact that the first assistant was Moses Dlamini who is known to operate as a referee. This created some bit of confusion but match commissioner Enock Nkambule was quick to explain that this was caused by the fact that they did not receive any fixtures from the Premier League of Swaziland (PLS).

"Referees only knew about the game between Wanderers and Midas City, this was not mentioned at all. I had to run around, trying to organise referees for this game and under the circumstances, we had to make do with what we had for the game to proceed," the former referee said.


Casino employee under hail of bullets

Main Section

Starsky Mkhonta-07-Oct-2008

A SENIOR employee at Nhlangano Casino Royale escaped death by inches after the vehicle he was driving came under a hail of bullets.

Police under the Serious Crimes Unit in the Shiselweni region are now investigating the attempted murder of the employee, who is said to be one of the longest serving employees at the company.

David Nyembe from Mthombe is Slot Manager at Nhlangano Casino Royale. He escaped the ambush attack after knocking off from work.

It is said he was driving in his BMW 318 series when along the way the gunmen believed to have been waylaying him opened fire, almost killing him. Fortunately, not one of the many bullets hit him. The car was riddled with bullets. One of the straying bullets smashing the driver’s side.

Nyembe managed to speed away from his attackers who were so much determined to finish him straight-away.

“I am not very sure of the motive. The gunmen just opened fire without uttering a word. As I was returning home from work, along the road I found two huge stones blocking the road at a steep hill. I tried to drive past but just when I was there, I heard a sound of gunfire and as I tried to find out where this was coming from, more bullets were fired,” said Nyembe.

Nyembe said he reported the matter to the police the same night.

He said he had no clue who his attackers were and what they wanted from him.

Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed that the Serious Crime Unit, alias Lukhozi, was involved in vigorous investigations.

“Yes, there is an attempted murder case that is being investigated by Lukhozi in the Shiselweni region. What we have been informed is that Nyembe was heading home from work on Wednesday when the attackers fired some shots, which riddled his car,” said Supt. Masuku

The police PRO then appealed for assistance from members of the public on tracking down the gun wielding suspects


Masina: We have to win

Sports Section

FIFA.COM-07-Oct-2008

Swaziland stand on the verge of an expected place in the final phase of African Zone qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. A narrow win over Togo in their final qualifier on Saturday would be enough for Ephraim Mashaba's side,

Key to their hopes of achieving this will be Dennis Masina, who may be on the diminutive side but has the steely gaze of a warrior ahead of the crucial Group 11 showdown.

"It is a war for us. We have to fight to make sure we win," said the creative winger. "Our strong point is the way we play and our ability on the ball. We are a side that does have big players to concentrate on defending, so we have no option but to push forward."

Togo require victory to keep alive their slim chances of progressing to the business end of the African qualifiers, but Mesina remains confident. "We beat them when we played at home in June. I was not impressed with their side. Yes, they are tall and they like to play the high ball and a direct game, but they did not look comfortable on the ball," said the Swaziland captain, who plays his club football for South African champions SuperSport United.

Swaziland were placed in a tough three-team section with Zambia and Togo, and their task was complicated when, just a week before their qualification campaign began, Swiss coach Raoul Savoy was fired.

Ephraim Mashaba, formerly at the South Africa reins, was brought in and he shook up the side and guided them to a maiden win over Togo and then a goalless draw at home to Zambia. One week later they almost held the same side again, only to lose 1-0 after a late penalty.

Saturday's match will take place on neutral ground in Accra, Ghana, and Mesina believes Swaziland will return home having seized an all-important victory. "We are going there to take a scalp," he continued.

"We have to because everyone in Swaziland expects us to win. We are going to win 1-0. We want to qualify for the next round and I think there will be massive celebrations when we come back."


Swaziland seeks pact with South Africa to enhance investment

Business Section

AFROL-07-Oct-2008

Swaziland and its neighbouring South African province of Mpumalanga are to forge ties aimed at growing business in the region while at the same time broadening investment opportunities beyond 2010 FIFA's first African showpiece.

Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA) and Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) will come together in a seminar scheduled for 17 October 17 at Royal Villas, an event said to an essential marketing tool to grow economies of Swaziland and South Africa, two agencies say.

The meeting is further expected to provide an opportunity for both countries' organisations to forge relationships and form business linkages with key players and decision makers in various sectors.

The conference and business matching meetings, will also bring in a lighter interaction with a golf day on 18 October, which according to organisers will be used as a platform to promote Swaziland and Mpumalanga as premier investment destinations.

"Flagship projects, products and services produced locally and from Mpumalanga province will be presented, highlighting great opportunities not only for investing in the two locations and sectors, but showcasing export potential outside of Swaziland," organisers said in a statement.

The seminar, which is first South Africa/Swaziland investment seminar to be hosted, is a collaboration between SIPA, MEGA, South African High Commission and Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).

"This seminar results from former South African president's visit to the country. As a result of a report culminating from that visit, we saw it fit, together with our counterparts from Mpumalanga, to do something to promote our trade relations," said SIPA CEO Phiwayinkhosi Ginindza.

He further said they were looking at attracting about 100 local companies or business people with viable projects or proposals in various identified sectors, such as mining, energy, agri-business, tourism, general manufacturing and infrastructure to participate in the seminar while MEGA would also be bringing about 100 companies or business people to share experiences and partner with their local counterparts.

Apart from main presentations meeting will also break into smaller focused sessions looking at specific sector investment opportunities, with a further follow-up of business matching one-on-one meetings by participating sectors from each country.

Though tiny kingdom of Swaziland has come under much criticism and pressure to democratise, country believes there is a lot it can offer in terms of investment opportunities, especially in areas of agriculture, tourism as well as mining.


FLEEING ROBBER SHOT DEAD

Main Section

Nelsiwe Ndlangamandla Swazi Observer-07-Oct-2008

A robber has died after being shot in the leg by police - following an incident in which he and two accomplices robbed a shylock at Lobamba.

The drama started during the early hours of yesterday, when the three came to Esther Magagula’s house at Lobamba, kicked doors open and rudely awoke everyone, demanding that she gives them money.

Esther is a money-lender and they managed to take E6 000 from her, driving off in a Toyota Corolla which they later abandoned near a driving school at Mbhuleni in Matsapha.

After the attack, a distraught Esther raised the alarm with her brother-in-law, Israel Magagula who contacted the police just as the robbers were driving off towards Matsapha.

Lobamba police in turn alerted their Matsapha counterparts that the robbers were heading their way in the Corolla.

Besides the money, the robbers also took two cellphones and a solar panel.

Police say Themba Magagula (no relation to the shylock he robbed) and his two accomplices defied a police warning to stop and surrender - which resulted in Themba being shot on the leg.

Themba was found at 5a.m. yesterday morning by passersby, a few metres from Lombhindza Driving School - close to where they had abandoned the getaway car.

Police spokesman, Superintendent Vusi Masuku said the exact circumstances under which Themba died are being investigated by Matsapha police.

Meanwhile, Esther said she believed the attack on her so late at night was an inside job. She said at this time of the month, she had made all the debt collections.


Rugby-Pools drawn for Africa men's qualifier

Sports Section

IRB-07-Oct-2008

Fourteen teams will battle for the final three spots available in the men's competition at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 in Dubai at the Africa regional qualifying event in Tunisia at the end of this month.

Five of these have previously graced the Rugby World Cup Sevens stage with Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia have played in two tournaments in comparison to Tunisia and Morocco's one appearance.

All five will be harbouring dreams of qualifying for the 2009 edition at the purpose-built venue 'The Sevens' in Dubai to represent the region alongside South Africa, who qualified automatically after reaching the Melrose Cup quarter finals in 2005.

Kenya are a core member of the IRB Sevens World Series, having finished seventh overall in 2007/08 with their best result a Cup semi final appearance in the New Zealand leg of the circuit in Wellington.

They will therefore fancy their chances of securing one of the three places in Dubai, but will not be underestimating the threat posed by the likes of Zimbabwe, Tunisia and Uganda who all played in the South African leg of the Series last December.

Uganda eye qualification double

The Kenyans have been drawn in Pool A with Morocco and Ivory Coast for the two-day qualifier on 31 October-1 November in the Tunisian capital of Tunis, while Pool B features the host nation along with Zambia and Senegal.

Zimbabwe are joined in Pool C by Madagascar, Botswana and Nigeria, while Uganda - drawn with Namibia, Cameroon and Swaziland in Pool D - will hope to follow the example of their women's side who recently qualified along with South Africa for the inaugural RWC Sevens women's competition in Dubai.

The four pool winners will progress to the Cup semi finals and to within one victory of the RWC Sevens with both finalists and the winner of the third place playoff the three sides who will have cause to celebrate.

Nineteen men's teams have already qualified for RWC Sevens, 10 of them through the regional qualifying process in Uruguay (South America), Portugal, Wales, Georgia, Ireland, Italy (Europe), Samoa, Tonga (Oceania), Japan and Hong Kong (Asia). The North America regional qualifier takes place in the Bahamas on 25-26 October with two places up for grabs.

These nations will join defending champions Fiji and the other automatic qualifiers from RWC Sevens 2005 - New Zealand, England, South Africa, Australia, France, Scotland and Argentina - along with the Arabian Gulf as Host Union in Dubai.


Family dazed as winds target only their house

Main Section

SIBUSISIWE NGOZO - Times of Swaziland-09-Oct-2008

MALKERNS-The roof of a four-room house belonging to a Mkhabela family was the only one that was blown off in the area

The incident occurred last Thursday night at the Mkhabela homestead at Malkerns by the Mphompoma centre.

The roof of the house was blown off just as they were preparing to go to sleep.

According to Philile Mkhabela, a tenant, they were inside the house when the sudden huge gust of wind swept over the area and ripped the roofing off.

She said they were still puzzled at what really happened as all along the wind had been mild.

"We are still shocked at what happened as the wind had been too mild to cause such damage to the house," she said.

She said their house was the only one that was affected in the area as they had not heard any reports of any similar incidents following the wind last week Thursday.

Mkhabela said since the incident they had to find an alternative place to store their property temporarily as they tried to renovate the house.

She said the damaged property was worth over E10 000.

"We are lucky that it was not raining on the day of the incident because a lot of property could have been damaged by the rain," she said.

She said what further complicated the situation was that two days after the roof was blown off, their brother died when he was knocked down by a car on Saturday evening.


Gone Rural brings in international skills for capacity building

Business Section

Teetee Zwane- Swazi Observer-09-Oct-2008

GONE RURAL'S continued partnership with MBAs Without Borders has seen four MBA graduates coming into the country to work with the non-profit making organisation to empower local rural women.

Sales Manager Julie Nixon said among these was Marketing Consultant Claudia Castellanos, who would be in Swaziland until November developing marketing strategies for Gone Rural and Malandelas.

She said the consultant was sponsored by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the aim of this initiative was to increase income for the rural women through increasing Gone Rural sales.

Adding, she said the other three graduates Dana, Lara and Ling Ling arrived in August from the United States of America to work on specific projects for Gone Rural boMake.

“They were sponsored by Deloitte, their current employer. During an intensive one month, we worked on three projects; a saving scheme for the rural women, the development of a fundraising strategy and the design of management systems and database for our community projects,” said Nixon in the company’s monthly newsletter.

“We would like to thank Ling Ling, Lara, Dana and Claudia for their outstanding work. Their contribution is helping to further empower the women of Swaziland and alleviate poverty.”

MBAs without Borders is an organisation that matches consultants across the globe with social businesses to help alleviate poverty through business solutions.

Meanwhile, in August, Gone Rural presented a cooperation agreement between the organisation and The Bridge, an Italian non-governmental organisation (NGO) committed to the social and economic development of southern Africa.

Representatives from both organisations were present, as well as Swaziland National Youth Council (SNYC) CEO Maxwell Jele. Nixon stated that the main outcomes of this agreement were an economic project that would take Gone Rural products to Italy, and to support a social project that would take Swazi youngsters to Italy to pursue their studies through scholarships.

“The knowledge and skills that these students will gain will contribute to the general development of Swaziland. Unicoop Firenze, an important retailer in Italy has already agreed to buy Gone Rural products for the next three years,” stated the newsletter.

“Gone Rural is committed to supporting Swazi youth with initiatives such as the School Fees Fund and the Youth Entrepreneurship programme. Philippa Thorne is also a mentor for the Swaziland Youth Entrepreneurship programme run by SNYC where she is mentoring two young Swazis who are starting their own businesses.”

FOR the first time this year, Gone Rural was a participant at Decorex on Design Africa, a programme to assist world-class home decor companies from across Africa to reach international markets.

Sales Manager Julie Nixon said Creative Director Josef Greef created the most stunning concept stand, which won an award for Best Stand at the show.

“The level of media interest was incredible, with three television crews and a number of magazine journalists doing stories on the stand and companies exhibiting,” she said in Gone Rural’s monthly newsletter, “For the first time, our sales team was able to meet end customers and see their reaction to the products on show.”

Meanwhile, the annual Bush Fire festival organised by House On Fire was a great success for Gone Rural boMake, which raised more than E20 000 during the festivities.

The money has been allocated to the Gone Rural boMake School Fees Bursary Fund. “Part of the money was raised through sales of the new Gone Rural boMake broaches made by Gone Rural artisans for the festival,” said Programme Director Yael Uzan-Tidhar.

“However, most of the funds came through sales from the Gone Rural shop over the weekend and from private donors. The fund helps the Gone Rural artisans’ children with school fees.”

She said it was heart warming to see people wearing the organisation’s broaches and they were happy to see so much support for their cause. “Our broaches were so well received that we decided to make more and these are going to be available at the Gone Rural shop at Malandelas.”

Gone Rural boMake is a non-profit organisation founded by Gone Rural to assist rural women and their communities with education, health and social needs. While Gone rural generates income for the women, Gone Rural boMake complements this progress with its programmes.


SIR, YOU ARE ABUSING US

Main Section

Faith Vilakati- Swazi Observer-09-Oct-2008

JUNIOR soldiers have accused army commander, Lieutenant General Sobantu Dlamini of abusing them by forcing them to build him a house at Hlane.

The soldiers also had very few kind words for another chief, Major General Manyosi Simelane, who is also building himself a house at Hlane too. The soldiers are from the Combat Engineering Department at Matsapha’s St. George’s Barracks and say what they are being made to do is not what they joined the army for.

Following the sweltering heat last week, the soldiers say the battle to build a better house for the army chiefs - is way away from the combat duties they want to do for a career in the army.

The army chiefs’ homes are being built next to each other.

The Major General’s house consists of two rondavels. The other house is a three bedroom one, with two bathrooms, a kitchen, sitting room as well as a dining room.

One of the soldiers found at the construction site said they were threatened with victimisation if they complained about their new “jobs.”

They say they are collected from Matsapha in a foreign registered van, where all 15 are crammed - for the long ride to Hlane.

They are not allowed to wear army uniforms and now complain that their clothes are getting worn out. The soldiers also claimed to be given badly cooked meals.

Lieutenant General Sobantu confirmed that he was building a house at Hlane, but denied abusing soldiers to construct it.

“There is only one soldier who does administrative work in that house. He is paid by government.”

Major General Manyosi confirmed that there was one soldier who is building him the Hlane home, but said he pays this particular soldier every month.

Army PRO, Captain Khanya Dlamini said he was not aware there were soldiers building houses for army chiefs as this has never been reported to him. Asked if it was within army rules for juniors to construct houses for their superiors, the Captain said he would have to consult with his superiors.

The Army Commander claimed there was a male officer at Army headquarters who wants to discredit him.Fumed the army chief: “I will not say I will deal with him, all I can say is that I know him and he must leave me alone.

“I have authority over the people he claims I am abusing - so he must get a life!”


Chao hails His Majesty King Mswati III as a visionary

Main Section

Njabulo Dlamini -Swazi Observer-09-Oct-2008

HIS Majesty King Mswati III has been hailed as a visionary and dedicated leader who cares about the nation.

This is further noted in his appreciation of the challenges engulfing the nation and commitment to addressing these.

Republic of China on Taiwan Ambassador Leonard ‘Mashesha’ Chao said the King had made a huge impression on him about the kind of leader he was.

“I say with sincerity, His Majesty King Mswati III has made a great impression on me as a visionary and dedicated leader who cares about his nation”.

Chao was speaking during the 97th National Day for the Republic of China on Taiwan held at the Embassy premises yesterday.

He applauded the King’s call for a more intense focus on agriculture and construction of more dams to aid in irrigation, thereby improving the country’s overall economy.

“I reiterate his encouragement that all citizens of this beautiful Kingdom should play a pivotal role in moving the country forward to greater heights,” Chao said.

The Taiwanese Ambassador said through bilateral Cooperation Agreements, Taiwan has supported the Kingdom in its implementation of national development projects in infrastructure, agriculture, vocational training, health and the fight against HIV and AIDS.

He cited the Swaziland Agricultural Science System (SASIS) worth about E1.8 million (US $200 000) as a case in point proving Taiwan’s attempt to assist Swaziland in reaching its goal of e-government, alleviating poverty as well as providing humanitarian assistance for the welfare of the Swazi nation and people.

“We believe that with the joint efforts of both countries, the existing and ongoing Taiwanese investment established in the Kingdom, mainly the garment and textile industry, we will overcome many challenges and help create job opportunities that will play a significant role in enhancing the economic development of the Kingdom”.

Taiwan had established over 100 000 jobs in the Kingdom and the Taiwan Medical Mission had been set up and is to be launched shortly according to him.

Chao emphasised that the Republic of China on Taiwan would continue to be Swaziland’s ‘best diplomatic friend’ over the years as had been the case since 1968, when the relations were first established.

The Kingdom was also applauded for supporting Taiwan’s bid to join the United Nations, which has over the years been an unsuccessful attempt.


King calls Sibaya

Main Section

MBONGISENI NHLEKO -Times of Swaziland-13-Oct-2008

LOZITHA -His Majesty King Mswati III has summoned the nation to converge at Ludzidzini Cattle Byre on Thursday morning.

Though it was not disclosed as to what the king was summoning the nation for, speculation is rife that the king will announce the new Prime Minister.

Journalists from all the country’s media houses who anxiously waited for hours at Lozitha Royal Palace to hear what the king had to say, left murmuring as they only had to speculate what was to be said on Thursday as palace officials simply said, "wait for Thursday."

That was shortly after Indvuna Timothy Velabo Mthethwa also known as ‘TV’ had taken less than a minute to make the announcement and then, as per the norm, sing the king’s praises.

"This is an important announcement from the king to the entire Swazi nation from all corners of the country. The king is calling on the nation to converge at Ludzidzini Cattle Byre on Thursday at 10am," Mthethwa said.

The headman did not leave any space for questions from the journalists as the announcement was clear.

It is usually the norm that the nation is called to the national cattle byre when the new Prime Minister is to be unveiled.

The last incident was when the king announced former Prime Minister Absalom Themba Dlamini to lead government from 2003-2008.

The nation came in numbers to witness the unveiling of another Prime Minister, which was met with wild scenes of jubilation.


About E100 000 prizes for Woman Farmer of the Year

Business Section

CASSANDRA SHAW- Times of Swaziland-13-Oct-2008

MBABANE -This year's winner of the annual Woman Farmer of the Year competition will receive prizes worth E100 000.

In total, this year’s sponsorship stands at E300 000.

Already, five finalists have been short listed to take part in the competition, which is now in its second year. A total of 33 women farmers had shown interest in participating in this year’s competition.

The competition is open to all women farmers who are involved in food agricultural enterprises throughout the country’s four regions.

Apart from the overall prize winner, other women farmers will receive second and third position prizes while a number of consolation prizes are also up for grabs.

Sonia Paiva, the Managing Director of Carson Wheels and initiator of the awards, said they were proud to once again host this year’s competition. "The team and I have reflected back on the past mistakes and worked towards improving the competition. I am not a farmer and have very limited knowledge about agriculture, but I was given an opportunity that I could not decline and wanted to make a success out of it," she said.

Paiva noted the importance of getting assistance from all stakeholders to ensure the smooth running of the competition.

Meanwhile, Director of Agriculture George Ndlangamandla thanked Carson Wheels for driving this project, saying it would assist the country in attaining food security.

"We want to emphasise the role played by women in agriculture. The majority of people who attend our agricultural functions are usually women. With the food insecurity challenge faced by Swaziland, we hope the competition, through encouraging the women to grow more crops will yield the desired results," said Ndlangamandla.

He praised Paiva for her passion in assisting women farmers, stating that her being nominated as a finalists in this year’s Business Woman of the Year Awards (BWYA) was in recognition of her vision to initiate this competition as means to promote entrepreneurship and participation of women in the mainstream smallholder commercial agriculture sector.


Five bullets fired at new MP

Main Section

Njabulo Dlamini- Swazi Observer-13-Oct-2008

MAHLANGATSHA MP Vincent Ngcobo escaped death on Saturday night after being attacked by gunmen at his home.

This is the second time in a space of two months the MP had received such unwelcome visitors at his home.

In the first instance it was after he had been declared winner during primary elections at his Mambatfweni chiefdom.

pronounced

After being pronounced winner on Saturday August 23 at primary elections stage, Ngcobo’s homestead was attacked by the unknown gunmen who harassed his family.

During this instance, the family house was left extensively damaged.

It was after 8.30pm when the incident occurred on Saturday and the MP was attacked when he has about to enter his gate leading to the homestead.

Five bullets were aimed at him but fortunately all missed.

disappeared

After the incident, the gunmen disappeared into thin air and police are still looking for them.

The Mahlangatsha MP did not rule out the possibility of this being a politically motivated attack especially since it only came after he had won.

“I may not know the motive behind these mysterious attacks but have reason to believe it may be politically motivated. This is because I’ve never been attacked in this fashion until I joined the race to parliament. No sooner was I declared winner at Mambatfweni chiefdom, gunmen attacked me and my family.

“Before we could even recover, now this. My family is terrified at the moment and cannot enjoy any sleep we don’t know who these attackers are and are always on guard,” a shaken MP Ngcobo said.

penetrated

Ngcobo said the first bullet hit a cement bag that was at the back of his bakkie, whilst the second hit a handigas that was next to the cement bag. The third only penetrated the seat of the bakkies where he and his wife were seated but missed them.

The other two were furthest from target as they hit other parts of the car. Ngcobo said he and his wife ducked under the dashbord of the car to escape the bullets.

The recently elected MP, who was amongst those sworn-in last Friday, takes over from businessman Jimmy Hlophe.

Police PRO Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed the incident, adding that Mankayane Police in conjunction with Serious Crimes Unit alias Lukhozi were investigating it.

“Police are investigating an attempted murder case on the MP and we appeal for anyone with information to either contact the Mankayane Station Commander at 538 8222 or 999. The first incident is also being investigated by the Lukhozi of Manzini,” Supt. Masuku said.


WANDERERS NAIL MANCHESTER

Sports Section

Mfanyana Magongo Swazi Observer-13-Oct-2008

SOCCER - MANZINI Wanderers' second half substitute Manqoba Mahlindza's 74th minute thunderous shot from the edge of the penalty box was enough to secure maximum points for the 'Weslians' against rookies Manchester United yesterday.

The game was played at the Rocklands Stadium. The goal, however, according to United’s supporters who were standing behind the goalpost, was not legitimate.

They alleged that they were seriously let down by the referee’s decision. They claimed that the ball went over the crossbar with referee Senzo Nkhambule pointing to the centre much to the disappointment of the supporters.

It was United’s second league defeat but fourth in the season. This is the second time they suffered defeat against the ‘Weslians' following their 1-2 loss during the Top Lotto/PLS Cup games played at the Somhlolo National Stadium. They went on and suffered another 1-2 lose at the hands of Young Buffaloes during their opening league game a fortnight ago at the Trade Fair Ground.

As that was not enough they also bowed down to youthful Mhlambanyatsi Rovers by a solitary goal in the ongoing Top Lotto PLS Cup games.

Their only positive result was a 1-1 draw against National First Division League side Midas Mbabane City. Against Wanderers, Manchester displayed a gutsy performance holding the established 'Weslians' until the second half goal.

Half time score was 0-0.

With the match looking likely to end in a goalless draw, substitute Manqoba Mahlindza, who came in for Kamogelo Molapisi, unleashed a powerful shot leaving United’s goalkeeper Mbongeni Motsa, who had a good game, biting the dust.

Motsa had earlier made a good save with his feet to deny Timothy 'Ma-Drip' Mathonsi from scoring with five minutes from the break.

He was again called to the rescue as he saved Lwazi Mamba’s ground shot in the 78th minute for a fruitless corner-kick.

United’s only chance to find the equaliser came with six minutes to go but midfielder Nkhosingiphile Vilane’s free header in side the box went wide by inches with keeper Sandile Ginindza ball watching.

Wanderers' coach Dumisa ‘Dodge’ Mahlalela in a post match interview said: “The three points are good for raising the player’s morale ahead of the season.

“This is a sigh of relief. The maximum points have added a little bit of confidence in the team.

“We are still working around to determine an impact player. People have to understand that we are sometimes faced with serious challenges in the team. We are indirectly forced to use the available players in each and every game played.” United’s mentor Jomo Dlamini, on the other hand, assured that he is not a worried man following the team's poor start in their maiden appearance in the elite league.

Commenting about the game, the coach stated that, "we lost concentration at the most crucial stages of the game. Otherwise, the players are still trying to adjust into the standard of play in the league. We will improve with time."


35 pupils whipped over ringing cellphone

Main Section

NHLANHLA MATHUNJWA- Times of Swaziland-14-Oct-2008

NSALITJE -Thirty-five pupils of OSLO High School were stunned after being whipped when a cell- phone rang during a lesson.

One of the pupils was also suspended.

The incident occurred on Thursday morning.

The names of the pupils are known to this newspaper but cannot be mentioned for now pending the investigations.

The ringing phone is said to have infuriated the teacher who is said to have gone to inform the rest of his colleagues that he had heard a phone ringing in the class.

"When the teacher returned, he came with a group of other teachers who asked the pupils’ who the owner of the phone was. However, no one seemed to know. It was then that all the pupils were ordered out of the classroom so the teachers could search their bags," said one of the pupils at the school.

The source said the teachers got hold of two cellphones and thereafter, began to beat all the pupils.

"All 35 pupils were beaten and each got three strokes on the buttocks before going back to class. This was not the end as four pupils were later called to meet the staff members at the office. That is where the owner of the cellphone that rang was told to go back home and return with his parents the next day, while the other three were beaten three times each on their back," said the source.

One of the pupils involved confirmed that his colleague was kicked out of school and told to try his luck next year.

"The principal (Mzomba Dludlu) told him together with his parents in front of us that he should not come back. His parents tried their best to convince him but he never wanted to hear a think. After our colleague had left, we were then beaten three more strokes on the back and further on got another three strokes when we got into class as we were told that we were late for class yet we were at the staffroom," claimed the pupils.

Case

The pupil said they were not pleased with the way the whole case was treated as they were being beaten for nothing.

"Our teachers knew the owner of the phone that rang, while the lessons were going on and I really do not understand why we were then taken for disciplinary action," said the pupil. When called for comment, the school’s principal Mzomba Dludlu confirmed that there were pupils who were caught with cellphones in class.

"It is true that there were pupils who were found in possession of cellphones in class. By doing so, they broke the school’s rules and regulations. Currently, the matter is being handled by the school authorities. It is difficult to comment much as investigations are still going on," he said.


Four SA men caught with 30 fish, arrested

Main Section

SIHLE DLAMINI-Swazi times-14-Oct-2008

NHLANGANO-Four South Africans have been convicted for being in possession of 30 fish they caught illegally at the Jozini Dam locally.

David Nyawo (38), Sandile Thwala (28), Sabelo Myeni (22) and Sibusiso Zulu (26) from Ngwavuma appeared before Nhlangano Magistrate Philisiwe Dlamini yesterday.

This was after their arrest on Sunday by Jozini Big Six rangers for fishing illegally at Jozini dam in Lavumisa.

They faced three charges, one of Contravening Section 66 of Protection of Fresh Waters Act of 1937, being found in possession of fish without permission and contravening the immigration laws of the kingdom.

In court they all pleaded guilty to the charges.

Thwala and Nyawo caused a stir during their mitigation when they urged the court to be lenient as they had been fishing on the other side of the border since their boyhood years.

This was because they said they were not aware it was a crime and they were doing it for a living.

"The Jozini dam is easily accessible through the Swazi border than on the South African side, where a mountain is obstructing us from our residences that is why we crossed over," pleaded Nyawo.

Thwala pleaded for leniency because he said they earned a living through fishing.

However, Magistrate Dlamini advised them that fishing was illegal in Swaziland when handing down her sentence.

She said ignorance served as nothing before the law.

She further advised them to try fishing in South Africa where she said they assumed fishing was not illegal because they had committed three offences by so doing in this country.

"Please try fishing in your own country as maybe there it is allowed. In our country we preserve fishery. Ignorance serves no necessity before the law," Magistrate Dlamini said.

The four were handed three separate sentences as they were sentenced to three months in prison for count one and two, with an option of a fine of E300 for each count.

For count three they were sentenced to five months in prison with an option of a E500 fine. The sentences will run separate.

At the time of compiling this report they had not paid the fine, as they were liaising with a correctional social welfare officer to contact their families in South Africa.


Pigg's Peak Highlands Inn sold for E5 million

Business Section

CASSANDRA SHAW- Times of Swaziland-14-Oct-2008

MBABANE - Highlands Inn is in the market at a reserve price of E5 million.

The Inn is situated in Pigg’s Peak and is owned by a Matthews family.

Clide Matthews, the Director of the Inn, said they had placed the Inn back in the market at a reserve price of E5 million following a previous unsuccessful sale.

He said the reason behind the sale was that this was a family business, but they wanted it to be run professionally by someone who would be involved in the whole project.

The business was placed in the market a couple of years ago, but there were certain issues that came about resulting in the halting of the sale. Matthews, however, reiterated that it was now back in the market for any interested buyer at the aforementioned reserve price.

Matthews said his mother was old and could not run it with all the energy that is needed while for him, it would consume a lot of his time, meaning he would have to concentrate only on it.

"At the moment, we are running it, but we want to sell it to someone who will be involved in the business. It has great potential, but just needs someone who will be fully involved in its day to day running. There have been some renovations that were done to give it a facelift," explained Matthews. He said it was a bit demanding to run a family business in a professional manner and thus the need to sell it.

"Business is fair, we still have customers coming to the Inn, but like I mentioned earlier, there has to be someone there full time to take care of the business," he added.

Property

It could not be established how much the property measures.

An expert in the estate industry said it was important for buyers to look at the location of the property before purchasing it.

The expert, who did not wish to be named, said buyers should take into account whether or not the property is well located for the kind of business to be ventured into.

"Buyers should check if there are any chances of developing the area. If there are renovations to be made, the buyer should ensure that the renovations will not be proportional to purchasing a new property because this will become more expensive," explained the expert.

The expert was quizzed on how monthly instalments could be paid for a property worth E5 million.

"For a commercial property, repayment does not usually exceed 10 years. This means the buyer would pay E77 000 monthly over a 10 year period if mortgage rates remain at the current 14 percent. The buyer should take such issues into account so as to ensure that the bank will get its money back. If it’s a business venture, the cash flow should allow the payment of E77 000 per month. If it’s an existing business that is making good profits, then paying this amount will not be much of a problem," he explained.


Teacher gets 15 years for fake money

Main Section

Starsky Mkhonta- Swazi Observer-14-Oct-2008

THE teacher who was arrested for counterfeit notes worth R700 000 has been found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in jail or pay E15 000 fine.

Vusi Alex Dlamini (46) who was arrested at a road block on Saturday appeared before Shiselweni Principal Magistrate Nondumiso Simelane.

His co-accused Hezekiel Mahlabane Maseko was also given the same sentence but the principal magistrate suspended the whole sentence for three years.

The two were conducting their own defence whilst Patty Hlophe prosecuted.

They pleaded guilty to the charges. Hlophe had initially applied that the trial be conducted separately.

This was after the first accused (Dlamini) had suggested that his co-accused should be excused because he was innocent.

The principal magistrate said Dlamini had been convicted for a very serious crime.

She said the court also noted the magnitude of the amount involved “The money is almost three quarters of a million and one wonders what could have happened if you were not arrested.

“The law does not allow us to decide on the appropriate punishment on offenders found guilty of such serious crimes. Anyone found guilty of such a crime should be sentenced to 15 years in jail or be fined E15 000 or both. This is the sentence you deserve and I must say I have, however, considered your mitigation,” said Magistrate Simelane.

Dlamini told the court that he committed the crime because he wanted to make a living, saying since his birth, he has been struggling to make ends meet.

“I am aware that the crime I committed is such an embarrassment to myself and family, and most importantly in the eyes of the Almighty God.

“It is my appeal that this honourable court should be lenient when passing the sentence as I have never enjoyed any comfort since the first day I arrived on earth. I have been feasting on flies ever since I was born and thus I have found myself in such trouble.”

He said he had eight children, four of whom had been expelled from school because of non-payment of fees.

The sentence implies that it means Dlamini is going to spend 10 years in jail if he fails to pay the E10 000 fine.

His co-accused was also slapped with the 15 years sentence or a fine of E15 000

“However, the sentence is wholly suspended for the second accused,” said Simelane


Nurses get tongue lashing from hungry patients

Main Section

Nelsiwe Ndlangamandla- Swazi Observer-14-Oct-2008

THE worsening food crisis at the Mbabane Government Hospital is forcing nurses to take tongue lashing from hungry patients.

Some nurses complained that the effect of the crisis is worst when it is time to give medication to the patients.
A nurse who preferred not to be identified stated that the matter had been reported to the hospital administration.
She said they now relied on relatives and lodgers to buy the food for their sick family members.
"Those patients who have no relatives suffer because they take the medication without having eaten anything," said the nurse.
Another nurse stated that patients with diabetes were the only ones who are well catered for.
"Going without food for diabetic patients is extremely dangerous so their food is always prepared."
She said most of the patients that are affected are those that take tablets because they need to be taken with food.
Thoko Maseko, the Hospital Administrator said patients had food on daily basis except that sometimes it was not balanced. She said sometimes the patients went without tea and side dishes.
"Sometimes the company provides chicken instead of beef and that is not good for patients."
She said they had approached the catering company, Azman's, but all they told them was that they do not have the food.
"We have taken the company to the Tender Service Board and are waiting to hear which steps we should take."
Just on Sunday some patients claimed that in the evening they were served only rice and soup and there was no meat.


Sun International, sponsors Oliver Mtukudzi show

Recreation Section

Swazi Observer-14-Oct-2008

SUN International head office, South Africa and House on Fire are hosting the Oliver Mtukudzi (November 28) as part of a weekend getaway package.

House on Fire's Director Jiggs thorne said the holiday package was being advertised on Jozi's KAYA FM, and bookings were already being made.

“Lucky guests will stay the weekend at Swaziland's Sun international resort and come through to House on fire for the Mtukudzi extravaganza," said Thorne.

He added that tickets for Oliver Mtukudzi go on sale to the Swazi public on Monday the 27th of October a month before the much anticipated gig.

“Ticket prices have been set at E150, and Mtukudzi’s fans are urged to get their tickets early, especially with the influx of party goers from South Africa," he said.

They will be on sale from all regular House on fire ticket outlets.

"The show will be held within House on fire, royal boxes and tables are available for booking."

He said they were finalising a few logistics concerning local artists who would be playing alongside the guest artist.

“We will reveal their names as soon as they confirm their participation," Thorne said.

For any further information members of the public can call House on Fire's hotline,

528 2110.

Meanwhile, Oliver's musical career started at the age of 23 with the 1975 release of his debut single, Stop After Orange.

He only went professional two years later in 1977 teaming up with Thomas Mapfumo at the famous Wagon Wheels Band and recording Dzandimomotera, which was directly stimulated by Zimbabwe's 1970s war of liberation.

The song depicted the black man's life struggles under the minority white settler regime.

In 1979 Oliver left Wagon Wheels to launch a solo career and forming his own band The Black Spirits - a group of rag-tag young stylish ghetto boys who were to become a sure force on the music scene, progressing into a household name in the ensuing years.

In terms of lyrical composition, in the period leading to Zimbabwe's 1980 independence, Oliver's music was a mix of the revolutionary jam songs albeit in veiled but hard-hitting tones targeted at the repressive Rhodesian regime.

Yet he also composed the day-to-day social context music about life and the essence of humanity.


A bitter lesson for Swazis - Mashaba

Sports Section

Kick Off-14-Oct-2008

Swaziland's national team coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba has described the weekend's 6-0 demolition of Sihlangu at the hands of Togo as a bitter lesson.

He adds that the result sends a message that Swaziland are not there yet as a football country.

“We didn’t play well and let’s not apologise or beat about the bush. We need to go back and do the re-building phase,” he noted.

Sihlangu were flummoxed under an avalanche of goals so much that Mashaba even wished the game could end before half time.

“Let’s not make any excuses about it, this was a bad result. I still don’t know but I suspect we were over-motivated. In the first half we didn’t play at all,” Mashaba told the Swaziland Times said with a tinge of bitterness in his voice.

He said the mere fact that Adebayor could dribble from the half-way line and score was very pathetic.

“It shouldn’t happen at this level of the game. This started in our friendly game against Mozambique and I am totally unhappy,” he added.

Meanwhile, Swaziland’s Director of Sports and Culture, Maswazi Shongwe attributed the humiliation to the ill-treatment meted out to the local squad after their arrival in Accra.

“First, they did not welcome us and we had to organise our own transport and then they chased us away from the training ground,” Shongwe lashed out.

He said the boys had got a lesson on what happens when you play an away game.

“We have to accept this because this is what God has given us. This is a learning experience and we should go back and work on our mistakes,” he said


President Mugabe here, Mbeki coming for TROIKA summit

Main Section

MBONGISENI NHLEKO Times of Swaziland-20-Oct-2008

MANZINI - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrived in the country yesterday evening to attend the SADC TROIKA summit which starts this morning.

The meeting is billed for the Royal Villas at Ezulwini and also expected to arrive today is South Africa’s former President Thabo Mbeki.

Mugabe who arrived shortly after 6pm followed former Botswana President Sir Ketumile Masire who jetted in before 4pm just after the departure of Her Majesty the Queen Mother to South Africa. The Queen Mother is on a one-week private visit.

Mugabe who was welcomed by high ranking government officials was whisked to the Royal Villas in readiness for the meeting, which will be attended by other SADC Heads of State.

Delegates from Mozambique, the incoming chair of the SADC TROIKA, Angola the outgoing chair of the organ and the Democratic Republic of Congo are also expected.

This was confirmed by acting Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Sethabile Mdluli in an interview yesterday.

Mbeki is the mediator in the peace brokering deal for Zimbabwean where Mugabe of the leading ZANU-PF party and Prime Minister designate Morgan Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are having problems with the power sharing agreement.

The SADC TROIKA Summit will be chaired by His Majesty King Mswati III in his capacity as chairperson of the SADC Peace and Security organ.

Mdluli could not specify the programme of the arrivals and the summit yesterday.


Swazis won't sell beef to EU

Business Section

Mail and Guardian Online-20-Oct-2008

Swaziland's failure to take advantage of the opportunity to export unlimited quantities of beef to the lucrative European Union market is being attributed to poor animal husbandry, high livestock mortality rates.

The EU's new trade agreement with the impoverished country has opened the world's richest market to Swaziland's hormone-free beef, but the lure of cash has failed to entice farmers to sell and few people will benefit from the trade concessions even though the majority of Swazis own cattle.

"Swaziland used to have a quota of 10 000 tons of beef entering the EU market, and Swazi beef was taxed a levy of 80%. Now there is no limit to the amount we can ship, and no tax levy," said Jon Williams, managing director of Swaziland Meat Industries (SMI), the national abattoir.

"What is more, Swazi beef is 100% hormone free, a requirement for EU beef imports. That is why relatively little beef is sent there [to the EU] from the United States. All Swazi beef we can lay our hands on we export, and for domestic use we import beef from South Africa, which might not be hormone free," Williams said.

"We are telling farmers: 'If you want to maintain a herd of 15, fine; just as long as they are healthy and you can sell them when they are young instead of waiting until they are too old to sell'," said Williams. SMI, which facilitates cattle sales, has shipped only 300 tons to the EU in 2008.

About 80% of Swaziland's one million people live on communal Swazi Nation Land in a system with King Mswati III as the head of state in sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy -- and in which chiefs allocate land and grazing rights.

Despite efforts to promote commercial farming, subsistence farming is practised by most residents, who comprise the bulk of the 600 000 Swazis living in chronic poverty, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

"Swazis are reluctant to part with their cattle and this is an enormous problem. The [national] herd is in trouble, deaths are high," said Roland Dlamini, acting director of veterinary services in the ministry of agriculture and co-operatives. "The fertility rate is a problem -- a cow will give birth every three years on average."

For more than a decade Swaziland's national herd has stagnated at about 640 000, or two cows for every three people. The cattle mortality rate, which was below 4% in 2005, is now at 10% because of poor rainfall and a drought that has exposed poor agricultural practices.

Complicating Swaziland's bid to try to use the EU's trade concessions to fight poverty by earning foreign currency is the reluctance, for cultural or sentimental reasons, to sell cattle.

Timothy Masuku, who owns a dozen head of cattle 20km from Manzini, Swaziland's commercial centre, said: "I need my cattle for cultural purposes. They are for my sons to give to their brides' families and other purposes. Besides, you don't know what tomorrow brings. If my family must move, we can take our cattle with us." -- Irin


Another heist in Pigg's Peak

Main Section

MBONGENI NDLELA- Times of Swaziland-20-Oct-2008

PIGG'S PEAK – Thugs are having a field day here. Hardly two days after thugs looted 6.2 million at the police station, another E50 000 was stolen at Plantation company on Friday.

Plantation is situated along the Mbabane-Pigg’s Peak road, two kilometres from the police station.

Interestingly, the money had been escorted from the bank by the police and later dropped at the company.

Struck

However, the thug is said to have struck just after the police left the company’s premises.

In an almost similar scenario to that of E6.2 million, the stolen money was reserved for the casual employees’ fortnight salaries.

It is said that an unknown man pounced at the supervisor and demanded that he escort him to the accountant here.

According to sources close to the matter, the attacker never physically produced any gun.

He is said to have pretended to be hiding a weapon under his jacket as he threatened to shoot anyone who raised an alarm.

"The supervisor escorted him to the accountant where, upon arrival, they found her still preparing and arranging the money for the payments of the employees.

He ordered the two to surrender the money or else kiss their breaths goodbye.

Attack

He said during the attack other workers were busy with their normal duties.

"At around 3pm our supervisors called us and we thought maybe it was time to get paid.

However, he told us that our money had been stolen so we would not be paid today (Friday).

He explained that a thug attacked him (supervisor) and the accountant and later went away with all our money," added the source who is also employed by the company.

Later

He said they were later told to go back and work, which they did.

Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Vusi Masuku confirmed the robbery.

He said the Pigg’s Peak police are investigating the matter.

"No one has been arrested in connection to the robbery but the culprit will be brought to book as soon as possible," said the police spokesperson.


SD could be linked to Samora’s death

Main Section

INNOCENT MAPHALALA- times of Swaziland-20-Oct-2008

MBABANE - The Kingdom of Swaziland could come under spotlight for its perceived involvement in events leading to the death of former Mozambican President, Samora Moses Machel in a plane crash.

Swaziland is mentioned more than once in almost all narrations of the events that unfolded before the aircraft went down, killing the President and 24 others.

Among other things, the crash occurred too close to the Swaziland border.

Secondly, the Matsapha International Airport is also mentioned as having been the pilot’s destination (inadvertently or otherwise), shortly before the crash.

On October 19, 1986, the Mozambican presidential aircraft, a Tupolev TU 134A-3 was returning from Zambia after a summit in Lusaka, to be in time for the birthday of Graça Machel, Samora’s wife.

Machel and the others died when the plane crashed in the mountainous terrain near Mbuzini just before Komatipoort, in what is now known as Mpumalanga.

The crash site is in the little triangle where the borders of Swaziland and Mozambique meet the South African border in the Lubombo Mountains.

The apartheid government appointed the Margo Commission of Inquiry to investigate the crash, which concluded that it had been caused by pilot error.

However, an investigation by a Soviet team found that a decoy beacon had caused the plane to stray off course before it crashed into the mountains.

A subsequent Truth and Reconciliation Commission inquiry into the incident did not find conclusive evidence to support either of these conclusions.

Circumstantial evidence collected did, however, question the conclusions reached by the Margo Commission

The commission heard that of the 34 people on board the presidential aircraft at the time of the crash, only nine survived.

One of the survivors walked to a nearby house to ask for help.

Arriving back at the scene, he found security force officers already there.

Others who arrived to help, including a nurse, told the commission that they were chased from the site.

They also reported that the security force officers were seen rummaging through the wreckage and confiscating documents.


Soul Brothers billed for House On Fire next month

Recreation Section

Mphikeleli Msibi- Swazi Observer-20-Oct-2008

HOUSE on Fire will be again be hosting one of the oldest and most loved mbaqanga group Soul Brothers on Saturday November 8.

House on Fire director Jiggs Thorne said they had already confirmed with the group.

"The super group's spokesperson Black Moses, confirmed the event and has expressed his excitement at the prospect of playing at House on Fire again," said Thorne.

The last occasion, a sell out spectacular, was held over two years ago at the same venue.

"Tickets will go on sale from Wednesday the 29th, there's obviously huge demand so get your tickets early. As usual, we will be offering bookings for tables and Royal boxes and people can get in touch to book on 528 2110," he said.

Thorne added that there would be an opening act that was still to be confirmed.

"We will reveal the names of the opening as soon as we confirm their participation. More information will be revealed in due course," he said.

Stalwarts of South Africa's music scene, the Soul Brothers have recorded over 30 albums since their formation in 1974.

Initially, formed in KwaZulu Natal, the group have remained the slickest and most successful proponents of the mbaqanga sound which dominated South African urban music for over three decades.

While their costume, choreography and some harmonies bear comparison to the American Soul music which inspired them, the group originated a sound and style which captivated South African audiences, most especially amongst migrant labourers who under Apartheid, were forced to leave rural homes to seek work in the cities.

The Soul Brothers themselves trod this path to Joburg, and it was this shared frame of reference which endeared the group to the massive working class audience of South African cities.

The band was built around the rhythm section comprising bassist Zenzele 'Zakes' Mchunu, drummer David Masondo, and guitarist Tuza Mthethwa who first played together in the 'Groovy Boys' in Kwazulu Natal, and later as part of the 'Young Brothers'.

It was in Joburg that keyboardist Moses Ngwenya joined to create the Soul Brothers, and David Masondo made the move from drums to lead vocals.


Nelspruit to SD roads need to be improved for 2010

Business Section

Teetee Zwane Swazi Observer-20-Oct-2008

INFRASTRUCTURE improvement is needed between Nelspruit and Swaziland to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic during the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be hosted by South Africa, says the province’s premier.

Mpumalanga Province Premier Thabang Makwetla said business people from the region needed to take advantage of opportunities regarding provision of accommodation for soccer fans who would be attending the international event. He said whenever the province’s 2010 committee brought in reports, it consistently made reference to the problem of accommodation not being something to worry to about.

Makwetla said the committee assured him that the throngs of soccer followers who would want to watch games to be hosted at Mpumalanga’s capital city, Nelspruit, would be put up in Swaziland and Maputo where 20 000 beds would be made available.

The premier was guest speaker during an investment summit banquet hosted by the Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA) and Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA), in collaboration with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and South African Embassy on Friday evening at the Royal Villas.

He, however, expressed concerns as to the practicality and convenience of this arrangement, adding that people commuting between Swaziland and Nelspruit for the games was something he was not very sure about.

“It is indeed doable, but whether the homework to actually understand what obstacles need to be cleared is something that still needs to be attended to,” he said.

Makwetla said such an arrangement needs infrastructure improvement, for one, in terms of the roads between Nelspruit and Swaziland.

“If we could afford it, we could even actually shorten the distance by allowing access through roads that are not actually being used right now.”

The premier noted that there were lots of opportunities that could bring development in the region of the three countries, including Mozambique.

However, he said if attention was not immediately paid to these opportunities, then 2010 would come and go with no-one having taken advantage of them.

“There are a lot of initiatives that could be undertaken where the Swazi and South African business communities could assist each other in clearing the obstacles to investment and identifying available opportunities they can take advantage of,” he said.

Makwetla added that this should have been something natural for the two countries to do and it was long overdue, further advising the business communities to also think about the sharing of resources.


Former Mr SD Mphumuti arrested for theft

Main Section

Faith Vilakati Swazi Observer-20-Oct-2008

FORMER Mr Swaziland Mphumuti Nkhambule was yesterday arrested for allegedly stealing a speaker, laptop and a cellphone.

He was arrested with Nhlanhla Shubi Rado by the Manzini Police after they were apprehended by Kwaluseni Community Police while at the area.

The items belong to DJ Fistos of Matsapha and the speaker is valued at E7 000.

Kwaluseni Community Police President Jabulani Dlamini said the crime took place at Moneni, outside Manzini, a month ago.

It is alleged that on Friday, Nkhambule sold the speaker back to its owner, DJ Carly. It is said that when Nkhambule saw what a mistake he had made, he ran to his car - the very one he was given for winning the Mr. Swaziland Pageant - and drove off.

Dlamini explained that Fistos had borrowed the speaker from Carly to use at a function he was attending in Moneni.

“At first, Nkhambule denied ever stealing the items but later confirmed saying he was tempted because he needed money.

“This was after we tied him to a tree as we normally do for criminals whom we have to guard as we await the arrival of police officers to come and pick them up.

“The reason we failed to investigate the matter on time was that we do not have transport. DJ Fistos reported the matter to us because he was confident that we will help him,” said Dlamini.

Nkhambule is alleged to have told the community police that he found DJ Fistos’ car unlocked and they decided to take the items because they wanted money to buy ‘something.’


Leopards through to Top Lotto quarter-finals

Sports Section

Ntuthuko Dlamini- Swazi Observer-20-Oct-2008

SOCCER - ROYAL Leopards yesterday beat National First Division side Hub Sundowns 2-0 to confirm their qualification to the quarter-finals of the Top Lotto E650 000 PLS Cup.

The police side started the game on a high note in search for an early goal. Former Sihlangu striker Mzwandile ‘Zoo’ Mamba was pivotal for Leopards’ attack.

They came close to taking the lead three minutes into the game after Mzwandile outpaced Hub right-back defender Muzi Zwane and delivered a cross inside the box to find flat-footed Collen Salelwako, who failed to control the ball with only the keeper, Colani Mndzebele, to beat between the poles.

Leopards gave the opposition no breathing space, with Mzwandile combining well with Salelwako. However, Salelwako was stretchered off after the no-nonsense right-back (Muzi) tackled him and he was replaced by Juries Gama.

With Leopards all out in search of an opening goal the opposition got a break away opportunity spearheaded by Makhosi Dlamini. Sihlangu defender Sihawu Dlamini’s back-pass proved difficult for goalkeeper Bheki Mavuso, who luckily saved it from the goal-line for a fruitless corner. After that substitute Juries Gama got a golden scoring opportunity but his effort was saved by the impressive Colani in a one on one situation. In the 40th minute, Leopards took the lead via the boot of Linda Msibi, finishing off a shot from Mzwandile which deflected on Zwane, who had a busy afternoon marking the troublesome former Mbabane Swallows’ striker.

Floodgates

The goal seemed to have opened the floodgates but Juries missed another good chance with two minutes before the half time whistle.

Leopards went to break enjoying a 1 - 0 lead. After the break, Hub coach Dennis Terblanche made a double substitution, introducing Mbongiseni ‘Muti’ Thwala and Mpostoli Msibi for Mfundo Sikhosana and Ronnie du Pont respectively. But the changes did not improve things for the Manzini-based side as Msibi was thrown into a deep end after the long lay off.

Leopards continued from where they left off as they were close to increasing the lead after a good run by Gcina ‘Kwere’ Mazibuko was missed by Mzwandile.

However, big striker Mfanzile ‘Fash’ Dlamini settled the nerves for the police side by scoring the second goal in the 68th minute, clinching a win for the police side.

After the goal, Leopards’ coach Manfred Chabinga rested the first goal scorer Msibi and ‘Kwere’ for Sifiso ‘Nuro’ Ntibane and Bongani ‘Chicken’ Sibandze respectively.

A series of brilliant saves by the young Hub goal-minder kept the score-line low. In the 80th minute, Mndzebele made a double save from a hard shot from ‘Fash’ and did the same by denying Mzwandile from the rebound.


Standard Bank, MTN launch ATM top-up

Main Section

Teetee Zwane Swazi Observer-24-Oct-2008

STANDARD Bank will soon be launching mobile banking, in partnership with MTN Swaziland, for more convenience to its customers.

Meanwhile, the two companies have partnered to offer a mobile top-up service, where customers can now load airtime from the ATM. Speaking during the service’s launch yesterday morning, Standard Bank Managing Director Tineyi Mawocha said this was a step in the right direction to launching a fully fledged mobile banking service.

“You will notice that in the coming months we will launch mobile banking as a full package product and MTN will be partners so that customers can do banking using their cellphones,” he said.

“The use of technology is one way of spreading our reach without the cost of additional infrastructure. It is in this spirit that our partnership with MTN was born. We can leverage their footprint in the Kingdom and deliver services simultaneously to common customers.”

Mawocha said even though the partnership with MTN was predicated on a business symbiosis, it was also driven by the bank’s desire to ensure that it drives and delivers all its products electronically.

“This is a partnership we cherish and we are excited that we’re providing convenience to those customers who will be doing banking at any time of the day as the ATM top-up service will be operating 24 hours a day,” said the MD.

Regional Manager Wesley Groening said because of technological advances, through the bank’s network of ATMs countrywide, Standard Bank would be able to offer more value-add services.

He explained that with the mobile top-up service, which is free of charge, a customer needs to select other services on the ATM prompts, then select mobile top-up and denomination, after which their account would be debited and a voucher with the airtime would be printed out.

MTN Swaziland Acting CEO Thokozile Vilakati-Jele said the company was very proud to be working in partnership with Standard Bank. She added that MTN marvelled at the strides it had taken since inception 10 years ago to bring its customers an exciting menu of products, such as ATM top-up and services aimed at enhancing communication for the 21st century Swazi.

“This launch further demonstrates our commitment towards ensuring that our customers enjoy the benefits of relying on a visionary company with cutting edge mobile communication technology to provide solutions for them,” she said.

Vilakati-Jele noted that MTN Swaziland views itself fortunate to be working with a subsidiary of the Standard Bank Group, which has one of the biggest single networks of banking services in Africa, offering a wide range of products and services delivered though more than 1 000 points of representation in 17 countries.

“This will definitely add value to the ATM top-up we a re launching and strategically complement other services we hope to launch in the near future,” she said, “primary of these is the prepaid roaming that will allow our customers to use their numbers beyond our network and borders of the country.”

She said by launching the ATM top-up service, MTN was providing its customers an avenue to be able to reload airtime at any of Standard Bank’s ATM units around the country.

“This will make MTN airtime available everywhere you go at all ATM points at every hour,” she said, adding that a lot of time and effort had been spent working on the service to ensure it was ready for the market.

Vilakati-Jele further assured customers that minimum problems were anticipated and the companies would be monitoring the service to ensure it delivers on expectations.

“We hope this extra service will provide the bank with a competitive edge by adding value to the total banking experience of its customers,” she added.

How it works:
* Insert ATM card
* Follow on-screen prompts
* Select other services
* Select bill payments
* Select mobile top-up
* Select MTN
* Select amount required
* Confirm amount by selecting ‘yes’
* Remove airtime voucher


It was 'raining' money at manzini bus rank

Main Section

ZWELAKHE MOAHLOLI Times of Swaziland-24-Oct-2008

MANZINI - A near stampede was witnessed yesterday at the Manzini bus terminus when it suddenly rained money.

The money was distributed by Top Lotto from an army helicopter slightly before the rush hour at approximately 4pm. This was done at two intervals.

At first people thought the helicopter was distributing pamphlets. However, they soon realised it was money.

"Utsi yimali mbamba le? (is this real money)," a vendor was overheard asking before joining the mad rush.

It was mayhem thereafter. E10, E20, E50, E100 notes and t-shirts littered the air.

The distribution of the ‘goodies’ lasted for approximately five minutes, but the confusion lasted for about 20 minutes.

Kombi and bus operators (drivers and conductors) left customers unattended, and likewise some customers jumped out of the vehicles.

While those that were already moving out of the bus rank watched enviously through the windows as people were rushing for the legal tender.

About 30 minutes later, the helicopter came around again. This time most people were ready and prepared for it.

Once the distribution started, most people left what they were doing and rushed to grab anything that was falling from the sky.

Shoes and some foodstuff were found later without owners.

MV Group General Manager Prosper Takawira said the distribution of money was one of their strategies to sensitise that everyone could be a winner with Top Lotto. He explained that the game would be launched tomorrow at the Trade Fair grounds, adding that a lot more prizes would be won.

"To play Top Lotto, a person only needs E5 to sms his/her six lucky numbers to 4949 and stand a chance of winning the E50 000 grand prize. The first draw will be held on November 3," Takawire, who is also known as Mpofu said.


Tractor for next year's winner

Business Section

By Faith Vilakati-24-Oct-2008

NEXT year's Woman Farmer of the Year winner will walk home with a tractor, amongst other prizes.

This was revealed by Director of the main sponsor, Carson Motors Samuel Paiva yesterday during the official crowning of this year's winner.
However, he said that would be on condition over 1 000 women farmers joined the competition. He said he was worried that the number of participants had declined this year. Last year, 53 women farmers participated in the competition while this year there were only 33.
Paiva added that they would continue supporting the competition, stressing that if the number of participants increases next year, sponsors would also flock in their numbers because they would see that there was indeed business here.
The 2008 Woman Farmer of the Year winner, Thabile Dlamini-Gooday, speaking on behalf of the participants promised to ensure that there would be more participants in the competition next year.
"We will continue supporting the competition even next year and hope more women farmers will join," she said.
Overall winner
Thabile Dlamini-Gooday


GO AWAY!

Main Section

Sisho Magagula Swazi Observer-24-Oct-2008

THE Deputy Head teacher at Nhlangano Central High School has been fired after allegedly engaging in witchcraft practices. The school has told him he must not come back.

He was reinstated by the Shiselweni Regional Education Officer, Daniel Mayisela after an instruction from school manager Maqhawe Mavuso - but when he went to school, the principal told him he is suspended and should not set foot at the school. The accused deputy headmaster has vowed to return to the school this morning, and wants the REO to accompany him.

He was allegedly caught performing weird rituals in the staff room known as Kuchela.

Following the incident, teachers marched to the REO office, saying he must be removed from the school. The teachers and students stayed at home, citing fear of the unknown.

The deputy said now that he had been cleared of wrong-doing, he wants to get back to class.

"I went to the REO's offices today (yesterday) to report that I have been turned back at the school. However, he was not in office. I will go there again tomorrow (today). I want to ask the REO to accompany me to the school," said the deputy .

apologised

He also claims that six pupils and several teachers have apologised to him for shamefully protesting against him.

"One of the students came to me after being arrested by the police for stealing at Builders Hardware and told me that his pastor at Makhosini encouraged him to apologise to me," he said.

He has maintained his innocence, stating that the incident was a smear campaign against him by some teachers of the school.

A letter dated August 8, addressed to the REO Schools Manager, Maqhawe Mavuso notes that the manner the principal of Nhlangano High handled the matter was grossly unprofessional and lacked objectivity.

"Teachers in a school have no mandate to exclude another teacher from executing his/her duties on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations," wrote Mavuso.

The Schools Manager noted: "That the deputy is still in limbo is cause for concern."

Shiselweni REO Mayisela confirmed that the Deputy Headteacher has been re-instated.

When informed that the deputy was turned away from the school, he said: "I haven't heard anything to that effect, since he has not yet told me anything."


Eliminating malaria in southern Africa

Main Section

Paul Chinnock Tropika.net-29-Oct-2008

News reports say that Swaziland hopes to be able to eliminate malaria as a public health problem within the next few years. If it is successful, then it would be the second country within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to achieve this.

Malaria cases have been in steep decline; there were 45,000 cases in 2000 but less than 10,000 last year, when there were only five recorded malaria deaths. A country must have no cases for three consecutive years before the World Health Organization will consider it malaria free.

Swaziland is a tiny country (17,364 km²) with a population of around 1.2 million, about one third of whom live in areas where they are at risk of malaria. Nevertheless, should it be successful in eliminating malaria, then this would be encouraging news for other countries in the region. South Africa, Botswana and Namibia are also countries where malaria elimination is considered to be possible, according to the SADC Malaria Strategic Plan.

The Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is assisting Swaziland to scale-up its malaria control efforts.

The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) manager Simon Kunene said there will be improved monitoring of malaria patients who will be provided with health care services in hospitals and clinics as well as in their homes. The programme also plans to distribute more insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Last year, each homestead was given one net per pregnant woman and another one for children under the age of five. Now, the plan is to provide each person in a household with a mosquito net. ‘Each household will receive three [more] nets, which should be enough because Swaziland has an average of six people per household’ said Simon Kunene. Rapid diagnostic tests to speed up the process of diagnosing malaria patients will also be introduced under the programme.

* Mauritius was the first SADC country to eliminate malaria; the last reported case on the island was in 1997.


Conman won't pay cheated victims

Main Section

SIBUSISIWE NGOZO - Times of Swaziland-29-Oct-2008

MBABANE -Conned aspiring soldiers will not be paid their money as they were promised by the conman.

This is because he has since been convicted for theft under false pretences and sentenced to two years in jail.

The close to 20 aspiring soldiers had been patiently waiting for September as the conman Zakhele Magagula had promised.

When his thieving ways were discovered Magagula pleaded with the people he conned to bear with him as he was going to pay them in September.

Magagula promised that once his MVA payout was out he was going to pay back every cent he owed.

The people would hear none of it as they demanded their money at that instant.

But it is unfortunate that they now have to wait longer before they get their money after Magagula was sentenced to two years without a fine option.

According to Captain Themnkosi Dlamini of the military police who was in charge of the case, Magagula was currently serving his two years sentence at Pigg’s Peak prison. He said it would be hard for them to get their money while he was in prison so the people might have to wait.

"I do not think they will be getting their money any time soon as Magagula was eventually sentenced for his crimes," he said.

Magagula claimed that his MVA payout would be out in September as he was involved in a car accident.

The 20 aspiring soldiers were conned by Magagula between last year and this year after he promised them jobs in the army.

Magagula raked in over E50 000 by conning the people as he was charging between E1 000 and E2 500 each person.

The conned people were from Dvokolwako and surrounding areas.


Police Drug Unit taken by surprise

Main Section

MUSA NHLEKO- Times of Swaziland-29-Oct-2008

MANZINI - The Manzini police Drug Unit (MDU) were taken by surprise yesterday morning when a 20-year-old woman bolted with a plastic bag full of dagga during a raid.

Futhi Khumalo (20) of Mbangweni, under Vusweni area, after seeing the police approaching her homestead at around 5am did not waste time but ran towards nearby bushes where she was eventually arrested. She was found with 1.077 kilograms of dagga.

When asked why she ran away, Khumalo said she knew that there was dagga hidden in one of the houses and was trying to get rid of it. The police are said to have also arrested two other people from two different homesteads one being a 42-year-old woman, Busisiwe Khumalo. Busisiwe was found with dagga weighing 2.5 kilograms in a sealed 20 litre bucket which was hidden in a wardrobe. The only male who was arrested during the raid was Musa Khumalo (25) who was found with dagga weighing 1.8 kilograms which was in a sack under his bed. The police are said to have received information that the Khumalos who also happen to be neighbours were dealing in dagga. The suspects yesterday appeared at the Manzini Magistrates Court.

They were all found guilty for possession of dagga without relevant documents and were each sentenced to 15 months imprisonment or E1 500 fine option which they had not paid by the time of compiling this report.


Top lotto apologises for mutilated bank notes

Business Section

JABULISA DLAMINI Times of Swaziland-29-Oct-2008

MBABANE - Newly established money spinning game company, Top Lotto has sent its sincere apologies to the Central Bank of Swaziland for the people who allegedly mutilated and defaced money during the Top Lotto launch held at the old Trade Fair grounds.

The company’s General Manager, Prosper Mpofu said however it wasn’t the company’s fault that people were found with torn notes after the chopper had ‘dropped’ money from the sky.

"In all honesty, no one tore money deliberately on Saturday; there was a scramble for the raining money and a stampede happened," he said.

Mpofu said it was an unfortunate incident and wasn’t an intentional move by the company.

Apologise

"We would like to sincerely apologise to the Central Bank for the incident but at the same time let’s not look at the negative things that happened there. The company’s intention was to market itself and at the same time give people free money," he said.

Mpofu said they were sorry to those affected by the incident including the bank.

"It wasn’t just the money that people tore and were scrambling for, T-shirts also brought in several fights and they were mutilated as well," he said.

Mpofu said as a result the company was reviewing the strategy and would effect the necessary changes to ensure the safety of the public.

The Central Bank of Swaziland ran a statement that any person found with a torn bank note was liable to a fine of E10 000 or six months imprisonment or both.

"The bank would like to caution members of the public that the bank’s order of 1974 (as amended) prohibits the cutting, tearing, perforation or any mutilation of any note issued by the bank without its permission,’ the statement reads.

It also says that the unintentionally mutilated bank notes can be redeemed at the bank if they meet certain legal conditions.

"The public is also advised that the Central Bank of Swaziland is planning to undertake public education campaigns amongst other things on the importance of proper handling of its currency, notes or coins to avoid similar incidents in the near future," it says.

Over E30 000 was thrown down from the chopper during the Top Lotto marketing strategy causing a stampede, everyone ran to the direction where the money was flowing.

However some people got half the notes as most were torn from the scrambling.


NON-BANK, PYRAMID SCHEMES RISKY - IMF

Business Section

Hlengiwe Ndlovu Swazi Observer-29-Oct-2008

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the emergence of non-bank financial institutions and pyramid schemes in the country call for swift and decisive action because of their additional risks to financial stability.

An IMF report released yesterday states that because non-bank financial institutions are properly regulated and supervised, they are a serious cause for concern.

“At the same time it is also noted that Swaziland’s economic growth is low by regional standards and that poverty and social indicators remain weak. Fuel and food price shocks have also increased inflationary pressures. The bank cautions that the global financial turmoil could add to the downside risks and the challenges posed by an HIV and AIDS epidemic and the erosion of trade preferences,” states the report.

The IMF recommended that there should be continued pursuit of sound macroeconomic policies and determined implementation of structural reforms to stimulate private sector development.

Meanwhile, the fund has commended government for achieving budget surpluses in 2006 and 2007, and the IMF has also urged for continued fiscal restraint this year and beyond to ensure medium term sustainability in light of the projected decline in revenue from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

The bank has also openly declared its support for authorities’ efforts to broaden the tax base and the improvement of tax administration, in particular through the introduction of a value added tax and the establishment of a Revenue Authority.

The importance of strengthening public expenditure management and re-orienting public spending toward infrastructure and priority social sectors has been stressed by the IMF in the report. “The on-going enhancements to the procurement system and the forthcoming reform of the Public Finance Management Act are crucial. There is also the need for civil service reform to lower the relatively high government wage bill and achieve better service delivery”

Meanwhile, IMF alluded to the fact that Swaziland’s membership to the Common Monetary Area (CMA) and the currency peg to the Rand continue to serve the country well, adding that there should be more support towards the build up of international reserves to maintain confidence in the peg.

“To improve growth prospects and compensate for eroding trade preferences there should be accelerated structural reforms,” states the report.

IMF has also encouraged the Central Bank to closely monitor developments in inflation and capital flows, and to stand ready to adjust its policy rate as needed with a view to keeping it as close as possible to the repo rate of the South African Reserve Bank.


FC BARCA FUNDING HALVED

Sports Section

Kenneth Dlamini Swazi Observer-29-Oct-2008

SOCCER –-FOLLOWING the incorporation of Malawi and Angola to be among the beneficiaries in the FC Barcelona Foundation, the Spanish giants have cut their funding to Swaziland by half.

Barcelona contributed 1.5m Euros (about E13.5m) towards projects that were undergone in the country since inception of the agreement about a year and a half ago. This means that the country will now receive about E6.75 million. The other 50 percent will be split between the two countries. The club, in a statement in their website, stated that following the incorporation of the two new countries their strategy in Swaziland would now change.

“After working with children situated in rural areas, work will now focus on the prevention of the spread of AIDS between mother and child and childcare,” the club said in a statement in their website.

“The work carried out in Swaziland over the past year and a half has been intense and very productive, as a delegation from FC Barcelona saw first-hand when they visited the country in December 2007.”

Commenting about the expansion, the club added that, “it is a decision that decision that reinforces the motto ‘Mes que un club al mon’ (more than a club around the world) and increases the range of the accord.

The project in Malawi will provide welfare assistance and help orphaned children who have, in the main, been affected by AIDS. Support will be offered in the way of education, health care and psychological help. Despite it being a country with a low level of AIDS, sport will be used to make youngsters aware of the disease in order to help prevent its spread.”

UNICEF Swaziland Communications Officer Nonhlanhla Hleta-Nkhambule confirmed that they were aware of the latest developments, but said it had not come as news to them because they expected Barcelona to expand their horizons.

In fact, she said they were more than grateful to FC Barcelona for the continued partnership with Swaziland even in the second year.

“We feel we are still privileged that FC Barca is continuing with the partnership in Swaziland because we knew that after the first year they would expand their projects to other countries. We are happy that we became the first and only country to be chosen beneficiaries to the Foundation,” she said.

She added that they expected anything after the first year but they were grateful that FC Barca “did not throw us out.”

She explained that the cutting of the grant would not affect their projects in anyhow because they knew it was for a year.

Hleta-Nkhambule also highlighted that the money would still be used to aid the already ongoing projects in the country, especially the “Life Skills Through Sport”, which she described as very unique to them.

She added that there were many other projects that they had undergone through the funding from the Spanish Club.

FC Barcelona officials, including President Joan Laporta, have been in the country to inspect some of these projects. The club’s website counts the following to have been achieved since they started the projects:

- Apparatus has been installed in hospitals that diagnose AIDS in Under-18s and allow treatment to be administered earlier.

- Around 23 Community Help Centres have been constructed to give help to more than 1 000 vulnerable children, especially those that live in out-lying and rural areas. The centres offer nutritional, medical and psychological support. Almost 900 helpers, called caregivers, have been employed to help supervise and run the centres.

- Latrines have also been built and 17 new water wells have been dug in various schools to give access to running water. That has allowed youngsters to avoid drinking unhealthy water from reservoirs often shared with animals.

- Resources in several rural clinics have been expanded and education about AIDS has begun to be taught to show people what the devastating effects of the disease can be and let them know that they can go to the help centres and have tests and be monitored.

- The registration of children has been expanded to include all new-borns. Although a system was already in place, it was not standardised before the project began. Now 12 000 children from 120 communities are registered.

- A programme has been placed into 100 schools across the country that use sport as an educational tool. This allows youngsters to integrate into their community more and to learn lessons about life, like how to respect ones rights.


Jail threat for lucky Swazi coins

Main Section

Sapa-AFP-30-Oct-2008

SWAZILAND'S central bank has threatened to jail traditional priests for piercing coins to make lucky charms.

Traditional priests punch holes in money as part of rituals meant to connect people to ancestral spirits and to bring good luck – a trend that has reportedly gained popularity during the recent launch of a new lottery.

But the Central Bank of Swaziland issued a stern warning that mutilating currency is punishable by up to six months in prison and a R10 000 (10 000 emalengeni) fine.

The bank “prohibits the cutting, piercing, tearing, perforation, or any mutilation of any note or coin issued by the bank without its permission,” spokesperson Godfrey Mngadi said.

Traditional priests pierce coins to make jewellery or lucky charms that can be used to ward off bad luck or to seek good fortune in gambling. — Sapa-AFP


Married woman burns with 'makhwapheni'

Main Section

MUSA NHLEKO-Times of Swaziland-30-Oct-2008

EKUTSIMULENI -A married woman and her alleged makhwapheni suffered first degree burns when the house they were sleeping in was set alight on Tuesday night by unknown people.

The alleged couple is currently hospitalised at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital where they were rushed to following the incident, in a critical condition. Elizabeth Sangweni- nee Nkambule is said to have broken down the door from inside in her bid to escape the fire, while her alleged secret lover, Mandla Masuku, came flying through the window. They were both engulfed in flames as was the house.

According to Elizabeth’a daughter, Delisile Sangweni, it was around midnight when they were awoken by a loud sound. Delisile had been sleeping in another house within the homestead with her sister and four-month-old baby.

"We went to investigate what the source of the sound could be and found our mother’s house in flames.

Rolling

"She had just crashed the door and was rolling on the ground engulfed in flames. As we rushed to assist her, there was another crashing sound and it was Masuku. He had jumped out of the window and was also engulfed in flames lying on the ground next to mom. My sister rushed to get water and put out the flames," said Delisile.

She said her mother was screaming and asking nobody in particular why she had to die. Delisile mentioned the reasons why her mother believed she had been attacked as she rolled on the ground but these cannot be repeated due to their defamatory nature.

Investigations are yet to be conducted to verify the allegations.

Adding, Delisile said she sent her younger sister to a neighbour to ask for the transport but the vehicle had no fuel.

"We then called the Mliba police, who arrived promptly and took them to the RFM hospital. We also called the Fire and Emergency Services personnel but by the time they arrived everything was burnt," Delisile said.

A modern one room flat and three thatched huts were burnt after petrol had been sprinkled on the roof.

Delisile said most of the huts caught fire while they were already attending to their mother. Speaking from her hospital bed, Elizabeth said she believed the reason she was attacked was because she was due to testify in a case over a land dispute, which was being handled by the area’s authorities.

She said the case was supposed to be heard yesterday but it could not because they had been burnt.

Everything that was in the different houses, including food and clothes, was burnt. Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed the incident and said Mliba police were investigating two cases of attempted murder and arson.


Sex warning for MPs

Main Section

Welcome Dlamini -Times of Swaziland-30-Oct-2008

EZULWINI -Members of Parliament were yesterday strongly warned against engaging in unbecoming sexual behaviour.

The MPs were sternly warned to stay away from love affairs that would dent the image of the August House and the country.

Issuing the admonition was Senate President Gelane Zwane together with Parliament Speaker Prince Guduza during an orientation workshop for legislators held at the Convention Centre.

More than 90 legislators from both houses of Parliament attended the orientation.

The legislators were strictly advised that should they engage in unruly sexual behaviour they were bound to be exposed by the media because members of the fourth estate were always on the lookout for such occurrences.

The MPs were reprimanded from having sexual relationships with youngsters, especially pupils and any other person who was below the consenting age of 16 years. They were also firmly told to avoid any intimate affairs with Parliament’s female staff members and this was mostly directed to the male legislators.

"Engaging in love affairs with female Parliament staff would lead to a situation where there is lack of respect towards you legislators once the relationship turns sour," the Senate president warned.

The MPs were further told to avoid sexual relations amongst themselves as that too could lead to trouble once the relationship hits the rocks.

Adding to that, female MPs were told to avoid wearing revealing clothes as that leads to their male colleagues being sexually aroused. Moreover, the legislators were cautioned against the nightlife of boozing and partying as that could lead to irresponsible sexual behaviour.

The MPs were reminded that they were now public figures and therefore should expect that their privacy would be invaded.


Grading of accommodation to be valid for a year

Business Section

NOMILE HLATSHWAYO- Times of Swaziland-30-Oct-2008

MBABANE - Local tourism accommodation establishments will be assessed and graded once a year, as grading is only valid for 12 months.

This is according to the Swaziland Tourism Grading Scheme (STGS) report drafted by consultants of Intellect Hospitality and Tourism (IHT).

"Each accommodation establishment will be assessed once a year. A grading is only valid for 12 months. Additional assessments may be scheduled if a number of complaints are received or alternatively of conditions noted during the annual assessment indicate that a return visit is necessary, or in case assessors undertake unannounced spot checks," it says.

The report says establishments will be completely re-graded at each grading assessment given that grading will only take place once in 12 months and also because a lot could happen during this period.

"Re-grading ensures that all aspects of the operation and businesses are in line with the required grading," the report says.

In the event the current grade is not achieved during the re-grading, for instance, a lower grade is achieved; the establishment will be given a three-month grace period to comply and then re-graded only on the failed criteria.

"The current grading will remain the same during the three-month grace period. If the establishment still fails to comply on re-assessment after the three-month period, the lower grade will then be awarded or the establishment may choose to appeal or choose not to be graded," it says.

Stakeholders are expected to deliberate on the STGS and come up with recommendations, which the consultant will then have to incorporate in the document that is expected to be fully implemented by January next year.


Miss SD princesses too relaxed

Recreation Section

JABULISA DLAMINI Times of Swaziland-30-Oct-2008

MBABANE -The two Miss Swaziland princesses, Nokwanda and Vuyiswa Simelane have not involved themselves in charity work ever since they were crowned in July.

Beauty queens are not crowned merely because of their looks, but also because of their will, skills and as well as talents, factors they use to represent their country in addition to promoting charity work.

However, the two haven’t done anything despite the fact that it’s towards the end of the year.

Nokwanda, when sought for comment, said she hadn’t done major charity projects, but had been working hand in hand with small charity organisations at her school, the University of Swaziland.

"I recently assisted the school’s charity house, UNICO when they paid a visit to a needy old woman at Es’gombeni. I’m also working on being part of a car wash at First International Investments (FII) to raise funds for an orphanage," she said.

Involved

Vuyiswa was once involved in a charity project where she donated a few items and clothing at her parental home, Nhlangano, but that was before she was crowned as Miss Swaziland’s second Princess.

When interviewed she said she had done nothing so far and was still working on her first project.

The Miss Swaziland licence holder, Vinah Mamba-Gray, when asked to comment on the issue said she had been trying to contact Nokwanda, however, the beauty queen always said she was busy with school work at UNISWA.

"This is serous. I want them to stand up and work, there’s so much community and charity projects that they could do in the country. I’m having a meeting with them tomorrow before the SNYC Youth Awards because they have all been invited," the licence holder said.

Support

According to the rules and regulations of any beauty pageant, every winner is asked to choose a favourite charity to support in her home country.

This could include awareness, adopting communities, helping the needy and disadvantaged and helping those affected and infected by HIV/AIDS.


Wanted: Educated Director of Sports!

Sports Section

MENZI DLAMINI- Times of Swaziland-30-Oct-2008

MBABANE -The Sport Olympic Council of Swaziland (SOCS) wants an academically qualified Director of Sports in the new ministry headed by Hlobisile Ndlovu.

SOCS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Victor Shabangu said the country being the last one in the Zone Six to establish a Ministry of Sport, should follow suit as the other countries by having a properly qualified Director of Sports.

He said having qualified directors had transformed the Zone six countries into power- houses in sports.

Shaba-ngu said the role of the director would be a vital one, which would mark the turning of sports in the country.

"The calibre of the Director of Sports would determine output as it has been the case with the other African countries," he said.

Passion

He said passion for sports was not the only quality, but qualification and clearly defined vision was another key important factor.

"He should be able to establish and maintain international relations with the rest of the sporting world. He should be able to articulate SOCS views and also government’s agenda on local sports," he said.

Funding of sports such as Zone Six Games, All Africa Games, Commonwealth Games and ANOCA would all have to be inherited by government.

"However, it must be made clear that the Olympic Games will remain SOCS’ baby and government has no control," he said.

Shabangu stressed that the new ministry meant government would now take over the multi sports for all programmes in the country. He said for government’s multi-sports plan, regional officials should be operated in all four regions so that all the 55 Tinkhundla were engaged in sports.

"As SOCS we tried engaging the Tinkhundlas Centre, but we could not cover all. We hope government will be able to overcome our shortage," he said. He said the 1997 sports policy management was a key area in which the ministry through the director of Sports would focus.

"This is why I can assure you that with a qualified Director of Sports in this ministry, good things will be realised in this country," he said.



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