Miss SD finalists get close to nature
Stories by Mphikeleli Msibi
From The Swazi Observer
ALL Miss Swaziland contestants are fresh from their first professional photo shoot held at Nisela Safaris in the Lowveld just outside of Big Bend.


For this kind gesture the Swaziland Organising Committee has expressed their gratitude to the management of Nisela Safaris for taking care of the finalists during last weekend’s photoshoot (food and accommodation).

This was the first in a series of preparatory events to be staged by the pageant organisers.

“We are grateful for what Nisela Safaris has done for the girls,” said Miss Swaziland Organising Committee Marketing Director Ndumiso Mdziniso.

The girls arrived at 6 p.m on last Friday at the main camp of Nisela, where they had their dinner, they then proceeded to the Nisela Guest house were they spend the night.

In the morning they were summoned to do some fitness exercises, to enhance their bodies and make them generally more fit.

“The purpose of the exercise is to get the girls to be fit and for them to have an opportunity to bond through shared activities,” Mdziniso said.

The girls had their breakfast which was followed by a make-up at 8a.m with Vinah in preparation for a lingerie photo shoot with Steve Hall.

“The lingerie was sponsored by Intrigue Lingerie shop in Manzini (with special thanks to Thobi Motsa, the owner). Each girl was photographed by Steve, at different locations, chosen with regards their wear,” he said.

Soon after the photo shoot the girls were involved in a number of activities including going to the Snake Park to see a variety of snakes, where some of them were daring enough to hold a python and went for on a safari where they saw a different kinds of animals.

“Before lunch the girls were given a short lecture on HIV and Aids by a representative from Nercha to make them aware of what it means to be a role model and how they can help in the AIDS prevention as aspiring Miss Swaziland,” he said.

A selection of some of the girls pictured will be used in the making of the calendar featuring all 12 contestants which is to be sold at the end of the final on July 2, 2007 at the Convention Centre.

Others will be displayed on the profile pages of the girls on the on HYPERLINK 'http://www.miss-swaziland.com' and www.miss-swaziland.com.

Soon after a number of the days’ event the girls started practicing cat walking which was conducted by Vinah Mamba and they went on enjoying themselves till about midnight when they went to sleep.

The Marketing Team would like to thank Royston Signs in Mbabane for designing and creating a banner for Miss Swaziland.

“Thank you also to First Environmental Company for Transport and video tapes,” he said.


Petrol price could soon hit E7 mark

From The Swazi Times


MBABANE – he ‘possibility’ of the price of fuel reaching the E7 per litre mark has now become a reality.

This comes after the increase – by up to 34 cents per litre – in the price of fuel in South Africa. This brought the price of Unleaded 95 Petrol in inland provinces to R7.01. The previous price was R6.67.

The price of fuel in Swaziland always follows the South African trend. Reports from South Africa are that the price of fuel goes up at midnight next Tuesday. This is when the 5.2 percent increase comes to effect.

It adds to the 69 cents per litre jump motorists were hit with at the beginning of this month.

It has been established that the increase would be even worse if the Rand had not gained strength against the United States Dollar.

The local Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy stated when announcing the latest increase three weeks ago, that the prospects were not good.

By Njabulo Dlamini
From The Swazi Observer

PRINCIPAL Secretary in the Ministry of Defence Dr. John Kunene has been accused of lying before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).


Appearing before the committee yesterday, Dr. Kunene informed the members that he had complied with a number of resolutions taken by parliament last year pertaining to the use of funds by his ministry. However, the acting Auditor General, Africa Hadebe, denied that he had received any reports of compliance. It was then that the PAC members felt the PS was taking parliament for a ride.

According to SBIS news Dr. Kunene, in his defence, insisted that he had complied with some of the resolutions and was prepared to provide proof.

He was told that he should have submitted any proof to the Auditor General a long time ago as stated by SBIS news. Meanwhile Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Enterprise and Employment Bertram Stewart was sent back to Mbabane to collect evidence after he also insisted that he had submitted a report required by parliament to the Auditor General.

Again the Auditor General denied ever receiving any report from the Enterprise Principal Secretary. It was then that Chairman of the PAC and Kukhanyeni MP Clement Dlamini sent Stewart back to Mbabane to collect the evidence. At first Stewart is said to have wondered whether the committee was chasing him away but MP Dlamini told him to leave and bring back the evidence later as required. The PAC team has already commenced its sittings and comprises MPs tasked with determining how public funds were utilised by the line ministries and whether recommendations made in the previous years were complied with.




Kombi owner shot dead


From The Swazi Times


MANZINI – A kombi owner was on Monday night shot and killed by four men who found him sitting inside his car with a friend at Mbhuleni.

The kombi owner, Thulani Maseko, was assistant administrator at the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Care Programme (HAPAC) and worked closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and other Non-Governmental Organisations.

This was around 9pm.

Maseko, who owned kombies named Badidile and Man that operated between Manzini and Zombodze, was shot once in the head while the female friend he was with did not have a hair on her head touched.

He died at the Mbabane Govern-ment Hospital after he was transferred from the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital (RFM) after doctors discovered that the wounds he had suffered were critical.

The motive of the killing could not be ascertained, but it was, however, gathered that a man of South African origin had come looking for him at his home on Sunday.

The man was not known to any of the family members.

“On Monday, he came back from work and told his wife that he was going out for a moment, but did not say where. He lived at Embikwakhe with his family.

“It could not be established where exactly it was that he went, but when he was shot he was at Mbhuleni.

“He was sitting on the passenger seat in the car, while his friend sat in the driver’s seat.

“A sedan drove past and was immediately followed by four men who came running on foot,” said a source.

One of the men was said to have been carrying a bushknife.

“They are all said to have gone around to the driver’s seat and opened the door.

“One of them, upon opening the door, said ‘finally we have found you’, but stopped when he realised that there was a woman in the driver’s seat.

“They then looked inside the car and saw him sitting in the passenger seat.

“They did not say anything else, but pulled out the gun and shot him once in the head before disappearing into the night.

“They did not even touch the girl or take anything from the car,” the source said.

The woman, who is still traumati-sed by incident, is said to have called the police who arrived at the scene and rushed Maseko, who was still alive at the time, to the RFM Hospi-tal.

“He, however, could not get treatment at the RFM and he was rushed to the Mbabane Government Hospital where he succumbed to death,” it was gathered.

Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed the incident, adding that investigations were underway.

The deceased’s family could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.


Secondary schools to be phased out
By Njabulo Dlamini
From The Swazi Observer
GOVERNMENT will soon be phasing out the concept of secondary school learning following introduction of the new syllabus commonly referred to as IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education).

This effectively means there shall be no schools ending in Form Three or Junior Certificate level (secondary) as all shall be converted to high schools.

As a result, some parents in certain communities are engaged in converting secondary to high schools through constructing new blocks of classes.

Such is intended to ensure a 10-year learning period for pupils since Form Five will no longer be undertaken by all, save for a few learners. Again, the concept follows the phasing out of JC exams as from next year.

“If we are talking about a 10-year session in education, we will have to do away with the secondary method of learning. The phasing out process is underway,” disclosed Ministry of Education PS Goodman Kunene in an interview.

However, SNAT Secretary General Dominic Nxumalo said they were not as yet aware of the matter. “It’s only when we see the issue you are talking about that we would advance comments, but for now, we treat it as hearsay,” Nxumalo said.

No comments could be obtained from the Swaziland Head teachers Association (SHA) Chairman Charles Bennett nor from Bethwell Ndlovu, Chief Inspector of Secondary Schools, who were both unavailable.

(H)IGCSE is the core for learners and will be done in four years as opposed to the existing mode of five years. The (H) component will be mainly for smart learners as an equivalent of A levels after completion of the IGCSE level.

According to schedule, O’ Level exams will be written for the last time this year and along with that, the first IGCSE exams will be undertaken by some pupils following introduction of the programme by the ministry of education last year. Recently, the Exams Council announced a E50 reduction in exam fees, but still parents felt the fees were exorbitant, a fact alluded to by Registrar Dr. Njabu Dlamini who said IGCSE was an expensive programme, but quality and skills based as well as being learner centred as opposed to O’ Level.

But critics have previously expressed skepticism about the IGCSE programme in that there were no failures under it, further noting that it sought to lower standards.

This follows revelations that IGCSE caters even for the G and H grades whereas O’ Level only catered for A-F grades.


12 arrested at blockade


From The Swazi Times


TSHANENI – A Customs officer was among 12 people who were arrested during the blockade held at various border posts yesterday.

The Customs officer’s arrest came after police received information that some members of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), who had earlier run away when police pounced on them were hiding in a house.

The police pounced on the group of about 13 activists as they made their way to man the blockade at the Mananga Border Post. The time was about 6am.

The activists, upon seeing the police, ran away but six of them were not lucky as they were arrested and taken to the Tshaneni Police Station, where they were charged with sedition.

The charge was preferred against them for the placards they were carrying. It was then gathered that the placards had derogatory information, which the police felt was of a seditious nature.

The rest of the activists, however, managed to get away, temporarily nonetheless.

“When the police returned later, around 10:30am, they received information that some of the activists, who had escaped arrest earlier, were hiding in the Customs officer’s house. They were informed by some of the people at the border.

“The Customs officer was then instructed to lead the police to his house, where police indeed found five of the men hiding. They had dagga with them and were arrested for possession of the herb without a licence,” said a source.

It was gathered that the Customs officer was arrested together with the five as they were found in his house with the dagga.

Further investigations revealed that police could not prefer the same charge of sedition against the activists who were arrested later as they had already discarded the placards. Among those charged with sedition was Mphandlana Shongwe.

The arrests were communicated immediately to the border posts, where the blockades were supposed to be held. It had some senior members of the PUDEMO executive concerned as the organisation’s national treasurer, Vusi Mnisi, rushed there with plastics of food.

When Mnisi was at the police station, only the first six were booked. While in an interview with this newspaper, Mnisi received a call that six more had been arrested. Mnisi did not stay long at the police station as he left hurriedly only to be missed by Shongwe who came looking for him under police escort.

Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed the arrest of the 12 men, adding that six had been charged with sedition.

Masuku further confirmed that police had been informed that the men who ran away earlier were hiding in one of the nearby houses, but when police got there, they were no longer carrying the placards, which made it difficult for them to charge them with sedition like their friends.

“They were, however, found with an illegal substance without a licence and they were charged for that. “They are all due to appear at Magistrate’s Courts today,” he said.


By Howard Mavuso
From The Swazi Observer
IN what may be viewed as unfortunate utterances, Chairman of the League of Swaziland Churches Bishop Samson Hlatjwako has appealed to His Majesty King Mswati III that Swaziland should not join the African Union organisation because it is evil.


He made this remarks when pastors under the league came to bid the King farewell at Ngabezweni Royal Residents yesterday.

He said the AU brought evil habits. He said they had witnessed in the other continents where gays and lesbians were allowed to marry other people of the same sex.

“We do not want to see the same thing happening in Swaziland. Such things are evil and they are against God. We are right the way we are. Your Majesty, God chose you to lead, protect us,” he said.

He added that Swaziland was a peaceful country, therefore they needed no one else other than God to protect them

His Majesty said the nation should make sure that in everything they did, they must put God first.

He said he was impressed about the attendance and that was a sign that the country appreciated that Christ died for mankind.

“We know that currently we had been praying to the Almighty God that he helped us through the drought faced by the country and God has answered our prayers. Since the Easter Holidays started he has blessed us with rainfall and we should be grateful about that,” said the King.

He added that he was certain that the country had received blessings from God since Easters started. He said if there would be any difficulties in the country, God would see the nation through. “You should remember that what is impossible with man is possible with God. I noticed that one pastor talked about the African Union, but we cannot say any thing for now, let’s put everything before God, and he will be the answer to every question that we ask,” he added.

On another note the King hailed the throngs of Christians who participated in the Easter services held at the Somhlolo national Stadium, Engabezweni Royal Residence and Lobamba Nation Church over the long weekend.

He stated that he was shocked when he entered the national stadium to see a large number of Christians occupying every seat. He said such was a true sign that Swaziland was God’s chosen nation.

He said he wished God would protect the pastors as they would be heading home.

On a parallel note, the King thanked the pastors for donating two cows which the pastors said would be used during his birthday celebration to be held at Siteki next week Friday.

Hlatjwako said the money with which they bought the beasts was donated by the different pastors.

He stated that they wished that God would protect him and give him the knowledge to rule the nation. They also presented CDs.

Hlatjwako also announced that during the service on Sunday, those who collected offering, did not do it well, since after they announced that they got E45 000 while it was supposed to be E4500. He also said they said the King donated E55 000 while it was E5000, which was to add to E500 which was donated by pastor Moses Warren.

Cold winter expected


From The Swazi Times


MBABANE - Members of the public should brace themselves for an extremely cold winter as temperatures are expected to drop to at least zero degrees Celsius.

It will be especially cold on high grounds, which include such places as Mbabane, Motshane, Pigg’s Peak, Mankayane and Malolotja.

The Meteorology Department Director, Emanuel Dlamini, said: “We might experience a very cold winter season as temperatures are expected to drop to close to zero degrees Celsius.

There are days where it would be warm, but the cold frequency will still be there,” he said.


He continued: “When looking at last year’s weather, we have seen that there will be tremendous change. This year’s winter will be colder when compared to last year’s. There were days when we reached the zero degree level then,” said Dlamini, who explained that such low temperatures were a rarity and lasted shorter periods.

He said this year the drop in temperatures would be prolonged.

“Temperatures will change regularly and it will be colder and colder,” he said.

He advised people to stay warm this winter to avoid catching flu and other related sicknesses.

Without guarantee

From The Swazi Times


Ngwane Teacher Training College students got yet another ‘taste’ of governments deteriorating financial situation when they returned to college after the break yesterday only to find there was no food because the catering company had allegedly not been paid. A few months ago they had to close when the college ran out of basic teaching materials such as chalk.

The students may have been fortunate to go to sleep on bread provided as an emergency relief yesterday, but this was without guarantee that the situation would get any better today or anytime soon.

Theirs is only one of several start-stop scenarios that are characterizing government operations today where any job done no longer has any guarantees for payment as agreed.

Money is coming in very short supply for those who genuinely deserve it but in bucket loads for the corrupt as alluded to by the finance minister who reckons a monthly E40 million package goes to the thieves. We see nothing tangible yet to show much haste to put a stop to it.

So how can we expect government to have money when it cannot account for E65 million to level a ‘football pitch’ allegedly claiming to be constructing a referral hospital in Siteki? What will the king be told when he visits Siteki next week we wonder.

How does government hope to close the leak when it has laws that allow ministers to draw double salaries, minister of finance included; one from government and the other from the board of trustees in the king’s office, courtesy of the same taxpayer.

And does it still make business sense for government to demand that companies keep two months worth of wages for all staff fixed in their bank accounts and continue to deliver goods but get no payment for months on end?

How can government claim to be serving the interest of the public when it takes the Public Works ministry over two months to fix small problems such as a sewer system at the Mbabane Public Health Unit, which educates on health and hygiene? (See Page 12).

The only obvious guarantee under the current circumstances is that soon, civil servants will be asked to “sleep on bread” while government tries to find money to pay them their salaries.
By Timothy Simelane
From The Swazi Observer


IMPORTED used cars known as ‘dubais’ can no longer be driven on South African roads, and will have to be transported on carriers or by rail, the neighbouring country’s government has ruled.


The order has instilled mixed feelings on local dealers, some saying the move is laudable whilst others feel there will be added costs to the dealers and individual buyers.

The new order was issued by the KwaZulu Natal MEC who said it was “protecting the South Africans from the dangers associated with these vehicles.” (According to SAPA).

However, clearing and shipping agents affected have lodged an application to appeal to the constitutional court against the order.

A Matsapha import and export dealer who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity because of the highly competitive nature of the industry said this week’s developments would have various implications on the industry.

He said insurance companies refused to compensate ‘local’ car owners if their cars were involved in an accident with unregistered vehicles in SA.

“The recent development will also serve to minimise the risk of carjacking and robberies that usually occur when people return from buying imported cars in South Africa.

If buyers carry the cars aboard carriers and trains they are insured from all damages and theft that could easily occur; but this is not the case if the vehicles driven on the roads.”

The dealer said it had been established that there was an alleged syndicate operating in SA, which includes foreigners and that country’s police officers.

“The high rate at which the dubai cars are stolen from SA raises questions on their final destination because the neighbouring country’s government does not register them. This, therefore, compounds speculation that the cars are stolen by foreigners and cleared again before being sent off to other countries,” he said. The dealer said the recent changes would also enable the Swazi government to get its due customs duties and further easily regulate the inflow of the vehicles. He explained the ruling by the Road Traffic Incorporation as final in that importers had been previously allowed a one year grace period after an interim order was issued, barring all used import cars from being driven in South Africa after being purchased a few years ago.

This week’s order was final, which is why shippers have had to seek recourse from the constitutional court.

“One other problem was that there were many deviations occurring in that cars bought in Durban, destined for Swaziland, could easily be rerouted to Mozambique. As I speak there is a list of cars that were supposed to have arrived in Swaziland but have not, for what ever reason.”

He also said it was gathered that some South Africans were of the habit of pretending to be Swazis when buying the import vehicles. “At least, we will have more control now,” he said.

Meanwhile, a leading Manzini dealer said he had gathered that the Ministry of Finance was also cooking a law that would, among many provisions, make it mandatory for import cars not to be driven on Swazi roads before they are registered.

“But the law has to follow all the pros and cons before it is effected,” he said.

The Minister of Finance Majozi Sithole and senior officials could not be reached yesterday as his cell phone was switched off.

Government Spokesperson Percy Simelane said he was not aware of the legislation in making, but said it was the minister of finance and his PS who could be helpful.

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Like Zimbabwe, like Swaziland?

From The Swazi Times



It’s been hardly a week since the Prime Minister, Themba Dlamini, landed from a SADC heads of state crisis meeting over the harassment of civilians by the Zimbabwe government that our local security forces decide to demonstrate a possible need for a similar meeting on Swaziland.

Yesterday the President of the Swaziland National Association of Civil Servants Quinton Dlamini was bungled into a police van and driven around the city before he was delivered at the new police station, which is under construction, for reasons best known to the police. His crime was turning up at the PM’s offices with his executive members without an appointment to enquire on government’s failure to abide by a court order –issued twice—instructing it to pay some members of his organisation money due to them.

The order was first issued in November last year. Government was given 21 days then. In February, SNACS went back to court and was granted another order where government was given 14 days to comply. It also defied this order.

The current Cabinet team earned itself a reputation of restoring the rule of law having succeeded a cabinet that was hell bent on defying orders from the highest court of the land.

Why would A.T and his team choose to untangle all the good work they have done over the years at a time it matters most. A time when critics are ready to call for this country’s silence over the condemnation of Zimbabwe arguing we are no different.

While it was unprofessional of the organisation to turn up at the Cabinet offices unannounced, it didn’t need a battalion of military police officers to bungle out the SNACS executive from the PM’s office premises.

They should rather have given them a definite date on when government would obey the court order. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

But then again, if SNACS has exhausted all legal channels of addressing their grievance with a stubborn government, to who or where should they turn? Perhaps the PM would like to do the rule of law a great favour by educating us all on this sudden turn of events.

By Njabulo Dlamini
From The Swazi Observer


Swaziland’s HIV and AIDS prevalence is not only top in the whole world but in countries falling under the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).


According to statistics from SACU, Swaziland’s HIV and AIDS prevalence rate stands at 33 percent as of 2005 ahead of such countries as South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, etc.

These statistics were derived amongst the age group 15-49 years.

Business Coalition against HIV and AIDS (BCHA) Chairman Ambrose Dlamini registered concern at the statistics noting that it painted a gloomy future for the Kingdom.

He called for strengthening of efforts aimed at fighting the HIV pandemic noting that not only business but the nation was losing a lot in terms of human resources and skills.

Dlamini, also Nedbank Managing Director, was speaking during the launching of the campaign; ‘Healthy worker healthy business’ initiated by BCHA. The launch was held at Esibayeni Lodge yesterday.

Officiating at the launch was Minister of Enterprise and Employment Lutfo Dlamini.

FSE/CC CEO Zodwa Mabuza also raised concerns about the high HIV prevalence for Swaziland noting that the age group involved was an economically active segment of the population.

The BCHA Chairman called for committing of resources by companies and business in fighting the pandemic since the cost of ignorance was quite high and had negative effects as opposed to empowering staff.

Speaking at the same function, BCHA Co-ordinator Makhosazana Hlatshwayo said the benefits of having the programme in place for any business were immense as the burden of care and absenteeism could not be shouldered by any business.

Hlatshwayo urged businesses to dedicate time, resources as well as commit both management and workers in fighting HIV and AIDS.

“In our workplace programmes, we emphasise that there should be a focal person in any establishment. Both small and big businesses should partake in this exercise by having workplace committees and initiate prevention, care and support as well as impact mitigation programmes. We commend businesses for supporting external ventures and engaging in social resources but we are appealing for them to invest internally since charity begins at home,” the BCHA Co-ordinator stated.



Suspect taxi man murderer hangs

From The Swazi Times


NHLANGANO – A murder suspect who was being sought by the police for the death of the taxi man has committed suicide.

Mthokozisi Mkhwananzi (23) of Mathendele Township was found hanging from the rafters in his bedroom under the strained length of a rope previously used as a washing line. The discovery was made by the deceased’s sister who had been sent by the siblings’ grandmother, Veleminah Mkhwanazi.

Veleminah confirmed that her grandson had allegedly been linked to the death of the taxi man, Bheki Simelane, who was stabbed and robbed of his cell- phone at Nhlangano Park on Friday. With tears streaming down her face, Veleminah said her grandson had also left a suicide note in which he, however, did not give reasons why he ended his life. He, however, gave instructions that his family should fetch items from certain people that belonged to him.

Veleminah related: “I sent my granddaughter, Zanele, to go and wake her brother up as I had advised him the previous night to hand himself over to the police after I heard reports that he was wanted for the murder.

“The police came here and said they were looking for him in connection with the murder of a man in Nhlangano. I wanted him to report to the police as early possible and sent Zanele to his room. She returned to say the door was locked, but brought with her the suicide note, which she found pushed out under the door,” Veleminah said.

She said, fearing for the worst, she called all her children to come see what had happened, but they could not open the door. By this time, Veleminah was crying as she said she was almost certain of what had happened.

“As we could not open the door, we decided to remove one of the windows in his bedroom in order to gain entry,” she said, while crying openly. The deceased’s uncle, Nathi, said he could not believe what he saw when he pulled the curtain back.

He said he saw Mthokozisi’s lifeless body hanging from the rafters. Nathi said they entered the bedroom and upon closer inspection, it was obvious that he was long dead. They then called the police, who arrived and cut the washing line, he had used to hang himself.

He added that Mthokozisi was still clad in the cream white shirt and brown pair of trousers he was last seen wearing. Veleminah said they were shocked when police confirmed that Mthokozisi had been on the wanted list following the gruesome murder of the taxi man.

Simelane, who pursued one man who snatched his cell- phone and ran towards the Nhlangano Park, was stabbed several times by men who emerged as he chased after the robber.

Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed the incident, adding that the deceased was sought for the murder of the taxi man.

“We suspected that the deceased was responsible for the cellphone killing. Preliminary investigations indicated that the deceased was an associate in the commission of a heinous crime, where a man was stabbed to death for his cellphone that was snatched from him. The police have arrested one suspect in the crime and investigations indicate the involvement of the deceased.”


Unlucky fisherman catches crocodile
From The Swazi Times


MANZINI – A man was severely injured while on a fishing expedition when the net he had cast into the river caught a crocodile and it mauled him as he tried to pull it out.

The stunned Themba Maziya was saved by his brother, Bhekinkosi, who hacked the crocodile with a bushknife until its sharp jaws let loose of Themba’s leg before it disappeared into the river.

The incident happened last Friday morning while the brothers from Shewula were fishing at the Mbuluzi River.

They cast their nets early in the morning with the aim of coming back later on in the day to inspect their catch.

According to a source close to the matter, when the brothers came back, Themba waded into the river to retrieve the net while Bhekinkosi remained on the bank.

The source said as Themba was trying to pull out the now heavy net, the crocodile emerged from within it and grabbed him by the leg.

“Seeing that his brother was under attack, Bhekinkosi jumped into the river carrying a bushknife, and hacked the crocodile on its back. After a long struggle, the crocodile let go of Themba and he was later rushed to the Good Shepherd Hospital at Siteki, where he is currently receiving treatment,” said the source.

However, the extent of his injuries could not be established at the time of compiling this report.

The source pointed out that the main reason people travelled all the way from far-flung places such as Shewula to the Black Mbuluzi was due to the persisting drought.

Meanwhile, Police Assistant Public Relations Officer Sergeant Stephen Dlamini confirmed that a man from Shewula was almost killed by a crocodile while fishing.

Early this month, Mick Jubela Reilly, the Head of Conversation at Hlane Game Park warned that crocodiles were deadly during the months of February and March.

He explained that people were attacked the most during these months because crocodiles were cold-blooded animals and stored fats in their bodies in summer for winter.

Attacks and deaths so far this year:

l Zodwa Shiba of Maphiveni was killed at Maphiveni.

l A 13-year old boy survived a crocodile attack by biting the reptile in Big Bend.

l A 13-year old girl was killed at Mtinzekwa River in the Lubombo Region.

l Nelisiwe Dlamini (23) survived an attack at the Great Usuthu River.

l Themba Maziya of Shewula area (story above) was saved by his brother, who hacked the crocodile.

What to do when faced by a crocodile:

l Retreat slowly and leave it alone.

l Avoid being in an area where signs have been put up warning you of crocodiles in the area.

EU might lift ban on Swazi aircraft
By Mbongiseni Ndzimandze

From The Swazi Observer


THE ban of Swaziland registered aircraft by the European Union might soon come to an end as there are negotiations between the EU and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport for it to be lifted.


This is contained in the report of the portfolio committee debate on budget allocation in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport presented to parliament. In the report it is stated that it is very likely that the commission would soon lift the ban on those airlines based in Swaziland.

“There are two airline companies with aircraft based outside the country and nothing has been finalised regarding them,” reads part of the report. On another matter the minister stated that Royal Swaziland Airways had a commercial agreement with South African Airways to operate as an agent selling tickets on their behalf, this was after Lobamba MP Marwick Khumalo wanted to know why government should be involved in the sale of tickets for South African Airways.

Minister of Public Works and Transport Elijah Shongwe also told members that the joint venture agreement between Swazi government and South African Airlink continued to subsist and the Ministry of Works on behalf of government had had a meeting with South African Airlink in October 2006 to review the agreement with a view to strengthen government’s position. He stated that no decision had been taken to withdraw that agreement. The response came after Khumalo wanted clarity on the status of the joint venture agreement between government and south African Airlink and that when would government withdraw from it since it was an anomaly for government to continue to be involved in the operation and ownership of airlines.

The minister further mentioned that Royal Swaziland Airways had a commercial agreement with South African Airways to operate, as an agent for selling tickets on their behalf and it was profitable.