16 November 2007
Taking the lead to fight HIV, AIDS
By Nombulelo Matsebula
MANKAYANE town will come alive tomorrow as The Swazi Observer, Swazi TV and the Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Services (SBIS) brings the best of entertainment during their roadshow.
The three media houses will at the same time be sensitising participants on the HIV and AIDS pandemic as the theme of the roadshow is ‘Taking the lead in the fight against HIV, AIDS’.
The Mankayane folks and those to attend will have a chance to mingle with their favourite radio DJs, TV presenters and The Swazi Observer personalities during the event.
The likes of Magalela Percival Mtshali, Bongani ‘Sigcokosiyancinca’ Dlamini, Moses ‘Mthetho’ Matsebula, Nelisiwe Motsa, Phesheya Dube and others from the local radio station would be at the event.
From Swazi TV, people should be prepared to meet their best presenters in the likes of Nompumelelo Ntshangase, Bongani Matsebula, Lenny Shoulder and a lot more.
The Swazi Observer Bheki ‘Gamassaulting’ Gama, Mphikeleli Msibi and other staff would also be at the event where they will meet their fans.
The entertainment package is quite impressive as the media houses bring Lodanda, Mshikishi, Thulasizwe Brothers, Peace II and Da Plan to Mankayane.
There would also be drum majorettes from Mankayane and a soccer match between the media houses pick team and that area’s social club. Chairman of the committee tasked with co-ordinating the whole event, SBIS’ Phesheya Dube, invited Mankayane folks as well as those from surrounding areas not to miss out on a day of great fun and entertainment.
“Mankayane folks will not regret coming to this event as it is not only entertaining but also educational as it touches upon the fight against the dreaded HIV and AIDS pandemic.
They will surely have the time of their lives and at the same time have a better understanding of HIV and AIDS,” Dube said.
He noted that a lot of prizes stand to be won by the participants including condoms, T-shirts and a lot more.
The event will reach other places countrywide since it would be broadcast live on Swazi TV and SBIS. “The event would be live on Swazi TV so that the whole of Swaziland can get the message we want to put across - that of media houses taking the lead in the fight against the HIV and AIDS pandemic,” the chairman said.
The participants would also be educated on the operations of all the media houses. If you are in or around Mankayane do not hesitate to visit the town tomorrow. Do not miss out on a chance to meet your favourite person alities in the media.
The event is free for everyone and starts at 9a.m. The roadshows will continue next week and the following one at Lavumisa and Ebuhleni, respectively.
16 November 2007
No Mzikayise here - Umphakatsi
BY NIMROD MABUZA
MKHWAKHWENI – Traditional authorities at Mkhwakhweni, about 50km east of Nhlangano, have vowed not to allow Mzikayise Ntshangase to be buried in the area.
This week the Supreme Court upheld a High Court decision that Ntshangase should be buried at Mkhwakhweni.
Led by a member of the Royal family, Princess Tsase, who was assisted by the area’s Indvuna (headman), Jameson Tshabalala, the authorities said unless a royal directive rescinding an order for Ntshangase’s eviction was issued, he would not be buried at Mkhwakhweni. The eviction order was rejected by the courts.
Princess Tsase is wife to the late Salebona Ntshangase, who held the reins. It has been alleged that Salebona was an acting chief and this is the cause of the chieftaincy dispute in the area.
“Let them dare bring him here for burial,” said one old man, in his strong Zulu accent, who did not look in the best of health.
“Mzikayise is our brother. We know him and we are not refusing him burial rights. But if he is to be buried here, we want a directive to that effect from the king. Without an order from the king, nobody should dare bring his body here for burial,” insisted Gideon Ntshangase.
With the frequent encouragement from Princess Tsase, who would exclaim “ha!” each time a question was posed, the men (Princess Tsase was the only woman in the meeting attended by the area’s elders) took turns to speak against the return for burial of Mzikayise Ntshangase.
“He was separated from us by the king and we have not been told that the problems that forced the king to remove him have been resolved. We are not saying anything about the court order as we have nothing to do with it,” said one of the Ntshangase clan members, but conceded that the press conference was prompted by the court order.
They refused to entertain some questions or be drawn to comment about the unlawfulness of their decision. They refused even to comment on Ntshangase’s (Mzikayise) lineage. Princess Tsase simply declared that he was not known, but Gideon quickly intervened and said they were not yet ready to give that information as their intention was not to expose anybody.
They argued that the death or funeral of Ntshangase had not been reported to them, but also made it clear that reporting the death would not influence a change of their decision. They were also not happy that the High Court inspected the Ntshangase family graveyard without informing them.
The country has barely come out from the effects of the infamous November 28, 2002, statement issued by the then Prime Minister, Sibusiso Dlamini.
Dlamini had declared that government would not abide by a Court of Appeal decision for the return home of families evicted from Macetjeni and ka-Mkhweli at the height of a chieftaincy dispute.
Involved in the dispute were Prince Maguga, who had been appointed traditional leader of the two areas and the deposed chiefs, Mliba Fakudze and Mtfuso Dlamini, of Macetjeni and ka-Mkhweli respectively.
The families’ victory in subsequent court battles did not help them. They were told to return home on condition they subjected themselves to the authority of Prince Maguga, who had been appointed chief of the areas.
The evicted families humbled themselves and apologised to Prince Maguga. Mtfuso remains in exile in South Africa as he refused to apologise to the prince.
Another court order defied by the government involves the restoration court’s powers to grant bail. Prisoners who were subsequently granted bail remained in custody on government’s orders.
Following government’s decision, Court of Appeal judges resigned in protest and for two years, the highest court in the land did not sit. As the country was plunged into a rule of law crisis, Swaziland became the skunk of the world.
A semblance of the rule of law was restored by the current Prime Minister Absalom Themba Dlamini.
13 November 2007
Cheques stolen at SNYC - minister
Stories by Njabulo Dlamini
AS the furore on elections of Swaziland National Youth Council (SNYC) drags on, a board member is said to have stolen cheques from the organisation.
The conduct of the board member, whose name could not be established, was reported to the police and investigations are ongoing.
This was confirmed by Minister of Regional Development and Youth Affairs Chief Sipho Shongwe in responses tabled in the House of Assembly yesterday.
The responses are a result of a motion moved by Mtfongwaneni MP Mfomfo Nkambule and seconded by Mayiwane MP Vusi Dlamini.
Nkambule had wanted to know about the conduct of the SNYC board and the Chief Executive Officer (Maxwell Jele) in light of mismanagement of funds within the organisation.
“The SNYC provides quarterly and annual audited statements to the ministry of regional development and youth affairs showing that the SNYC conducts its activities and financial spending patterns in accordance with the decision making authority i.e. the SNYC general assembly constituted by representatives of the 55 tinkhundla youth associations.”
The minister denied any mismanagement of funds at SNYC, either by the outgoing chairman (Patrick Gamedze) or the CEO.
On the position of the chairman of the SNYC (MP Prince Mphiwa) in view of the High Court decision annulling the July 28 elections, the minister said this (position) was not affected.
“This is because the position of the chairman is not elective but is an appointee of the minister for regional development and youth affairs as per Article 9.1 sub-section 9.11 of the SNYC constitution.
“The court verdict only affects the elected board members, the current chairman holds an instrument that appoints him for a period of four years. This position is irrespective of the outcome of the forthcoming elections.”
Minister Shongwe said to complete the elections process takes three months.
“Following an urgent application by an aggrieved party to the High Court, the Court ruled that certain clauses of the SNYC constitution were overlooked during the election process and took the decision that fresh elections be conducted in compliance with the SNYC constitution.
“And the High Court ruling declaring the July 28 2007 elections null and void, the minister has accepted the decision to conduct fresh elections,” the regional development and youth affairs minister said.
13 November 2007
Bongwe is dead
BY NIMRODA MABUZA
EZULWINI – Former Director of the Road Transportation Board and murder accused John ‘Madzabudzabu’ Bongwe has passed away.
Bongwe, 57, who was awaiting trial for the murder of his son, Sifiso, whom he shot dead at his Ezulwini home about two years ago, died on Sunday night at about 11pm. His death has robbed his family of information regarding why he shot his son.
Popularly known in soccer circles as ‘Mgcekezi’, a name he acquired because of his skills, Bongwe who had been sickly for some time, died in the presence of her daughter – born from an out of wedlock affair - who had come to check on him.
Bongwe’s eldest daughter Lungile confirmed the death of her father. She said they were told that her father collapsed at night and he was taken to hospital where he was certified dead.
According to Lungile, Bongwe had earlier in the day attended a funeral in the neighbourhood.
“We are told he first collapsed at about 3pm. He later recovered and at about 11pm, he collapsed again and when he did not recover he was rushed to hospital, where he was certified dead,” she said.
Bongwe has been living an almost lonely and sickly life after he separated with his wife, who moved to Mhlambanyatsi, where she stayed with her eldest son. This was after Bongwe became violent towards her and allegedly threatened her with a gun.
The shooting of his son, for reasons not yet explained except that Bongwe had alleged self-defence, further caused the family to drift apart. Bongwe’s wife Sibongile was suing him for maintenance. The matter could not proceed at the High Court because Bongwe was sick.
Bongwe’s life has been marred by several controversies. After his football days where he was loved by fans particularly followers of Mbabane Dribbling Wizards, he was first dragged into controversy during his days at the Central Transport Administration (CTA).
A commission of inquiry led by Zimbabwean former judge Enock Dambutshena had found damning evidence against Bongwe and CTA senior employees. They were associated with corrupt activities, costing CTA millions of Emalangeni. The commission had recommended criminal prosecution against the group.
Government, known for its soft approach to corruption, did not pursue any criminal charges against the culprits. Bongwe was transferred to the Road Transportation Board, where he was secretary before assuming the position of director.
At the RTB, he was caught up in another controversy involving public transport permits. He had a serious confrontation with the then governor of Ludzidzini, Dibanisa Mavuso.
Mavuso had interfered in a matter decided by the RTB and he summoned Bongwe to Ludzidzini, where he sought to have the RTB’s decision reversed. When the matter leaked to the Times of Swaziland, Mavuso was angry and summoned both Bongwe, the newspaper’s reporter and management.
The RTB director was accused of leaking the information to the newspaper, which was chastised for publishing the article alleging interference by the governor.
The shooting to death of his son in December 2005 was not the first time he had brushes with the law on murder-related charges.
In October 1992, Bongwe, who was visiting a friend at Sidwashini in Mbabane, shot a man who later died in hospital. Again, he escaped prosecution because the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Adinkra Donkoh, ruled that Bongwe shot the man in self-defence.
It was alleged Bongwe had shot the man as he was trying to break into a house. There was also evidence that the man had been shot along the road - a distance away from the house he was allegedly breaking into.
Two years ago, Bongwe killed his son. Again, the slow wheels of justice ensured he never stood in a court of law to answer for his alleged crime.
09 November 2007
QHAWE ORDERED TO PAY GOVERNMENT
By Sabelo Mamba
CHANNEL Swazi boss Qhawe Mamba, who is implicated in the E50 million Job Creation fraud scam, will part with about E4 000 in respect of legal costs, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday.
Though the Supreme Court never made mention of the above-mentioned figure, it was gathered from a source that legal costs range between E3 000 and E4 000.
This follows the filing of a notice of abandonment of judgement by his lawyer S’dumo Mdladla in a matter in which government was appealing against a verdict handed down by High Court Judge Jacobus Annandale.
Judge Annandale issued a verdict directing government to produce a record of the Commission of Enquiry, which probed the suspect (Mamba) implicated in the theft of state money.
The commission found Mamba and others including senior government officials guilty of defrauding the state. The suspects are presently out on E15 000 bail each.
The notice of abandonment was filed on October 13, this year.
Supreme Court Judges Browde, Tebbutt and Ramodibedi observed that there was a dispute of facts in this matter.
The judges subsequently ruled that government was entitled to costs.
John Magagula, of the Attorney General’s office, was appearing for government employees include former Principal Secretary in the Finance Ministry Musa Fakudze, former Examination Registrar Dr. Ben Dlamini, Thembani Simelane, Nonhlanhla Dlamini and Sabelo Mavuso, to mention a few. Government has since obtained an order for attachment of their immovable properties and their bank accounts were also frozen. The fraud case against them is pending at the High Court.
Mamba was heard in the morning Radio talk-show saying government would eventually pay him, presumably for what he perceives as unlwaful arrest.
When asked by the hosts if he implicated that he would win the case, he could not come clear on his stance.
Also to have been arrested for allegedly defrauding the capacity building fund that was set up after the Job Creation Summit, were former Principal Secretary of Finance Musa Fakudze, government officers, Nonhlanhla Dlamini, Tsembani Simelane, Dr Ben Dlamini, Sabelo Mavuso and Sebenzile Tango.
09 November 2007
‘Slain JV was assaulted’
BY INNOCENT MAPHALALA
MBABANE – Jabulani Mkhwanazi, who was killed supposedly by accident when a gun belonging to former gospel singer Thulani Ntshangase went off, had fresh wounds on the forehead and below the eye.
His distraught family has analysed these wounds and come to the conclusion that he was assaulted before he died.
What is not clear to the family is whether he was assaulted before or after he got shot.
The man who ‘accidentally’ shot him is Mbekezeli Dlamini, who has been charged with murder.
However, he is out of custody on bail. Jabulani, who was widely known as JV, was shot on the left of the head, next to the ear.
His family, represented by elder brother Emmanuel, says the injuries on the front of the face are not consistent with any impact that may have been caused by the bullet. “One of the wounds is just below the left eye,” said Emmanuel, who has photographic evidence to back his claim.
“The other is a big scar on the forehead. If he was shot on the left of the head, what caused the scars on the forehead and above the eye?” The Mkhwanazi family believes that the impact of the bullet would have caused the victim to fall sideways and not face flat. The background of the matter is that JV was killed on Wednesday, October 10, 2007.
Accounts of the events that led to his death are contradictory.
One version is that he was shot while inside a car that was being driven by Ntshangase.
This account has it that the deceased was with three other people in the car when they stopped to speak to a policeman friend, Papa Gevore. It is said that JV was shot accidentally when the illegal gun in Mbekezeli’s hand ‘accidentally’ went off. The other version is that the deceased was out of the car when he was shot. The family wants to take the matter up by applying for fresh investigations into the death of the Tum’s Group of Companies accountant.
The family says the police have failed to investigate this matter properly, but decided to take the word of those who were present.
Police PRO Superintendent Vusie Masuku earlier stated that the accused was charged with murder because a person got killed.
He said the suspect was not charged with culpable homicide, even though he claims the death was accidental.
The court will have to decide if the death was accidental or not.
The family is worried that some of the evidence may be overlooked, resulting in the suspect escaping with a minor sentence.
After this incident, Ntshangase, who was the lead singer for Courageous Gospel Group, was charged with possession of an illegal firearm.
08 November 2007
ROYALTY'S E1m FOR POOR
By Bheki Gama
HIS Majesty King Mswati III, through the Usuthu Royal Trust, donated E1 million towards building a clinic at KaZondwako near Bhunya.
The donation was presented by Chairman of the Board of Trustees Ndumiso Mamba, who represented His Majesty. Mamba is also Tibiyo TakaNgwane Chief Executive Officer (CEO). His Majesty’s donation will cover the construction costs, four houses for nurses and fencing.
It will also pay for electricity and water installations. Mamba recalled that the Usuthu Royal Trust was established in 1998. He said the aim was to look at and address the welfare of the communities neighbouring SAPPI Usuthu Forest who were also affected by the Emakhowe project. He explained that the trustees came from Tibiyo TakaNgwane and SAPPI Usuthu.
“The King has also donated the money to help develop the five Tinkhundla centres,” he said, mentioning that the King donated E160 000 to be shared amongst the five Tinkhundla centres bordering SAPPI Usuthu Forest. He explained that from the donation, communities would get funding for developmental projects. He said each community was expected to submit project proposals to the Usuthu Royal Trust before the funds could be dispatched. Mamba also praised SAPPI Usuthu personnel, who also serve in the Usuthu Royal Trust Board for donating all their sitting allowances towards the fund for community projects. Mamba said His Majesty would have loved to attend the presentation ceremony in person but, due to pressing matters of state, he could not make it. He then warned against misuse of funds.
He said the E1 million donation meant that the job to build the clinic had already begun. The CEO then appealed to the Health and Social Welfare Minister, Njabulo Mabuza, to consider including the new clinic in next year's budget.
Mamba also promised that the donation was only the beginning, adding that more was yet to come.
Mabuza thanked His Majesty for the project, mentioning that the ministry wanted communities to have access to a health facility within every eight kilometres. He then appealed to the local people to avail themselves and provide labour during the construction phase. “This would be a sign that the project is accepted,” he said. He promised that the clinic would be fitted with equipment, fencing and staff. “The ministry will support the project by supplying nurses and equipment,” he pledged.
He said it was supposed to have been built by his ministry but, due to scarcity of funds, that remained a dream. He then appealed to all to guard against starting wild fires, which compromised the financial position of SAPPI Usuthu.
According to the area’s Member of Parliament (MP), Petros Mavimbela, the nearest clinic was situated about 21 kilometres away, at Luyenyo. He also said at times, the ill would be taken to Mangcongco clinic situated about 24 kilomentres the other direction. The MP said talks concerning the project started before he was elected to parliament, back in 1996.
He chaired the first clinic committee and has continued in that position to date. He said the clinic was finally agreed upon between his committee and SAPPI Usuthu in 2005. Mavimbela said later, Usuthu Royal Trust co-opted him and made him project manager. I designed the building and would supervise the construction of the project,” he said. He said the Usuthu Royal Trust appointed the contractor, the Matsapha-based Answa Civils. He said the company was the lowest bidder amongst a total of four, which tendered for the project. He said it tendered for E1.4 million but after negotiations the figure was reduced to E1.059 million. He said the constructing phase was projected to be over in three months.
MPs from the other four Tinkhundla centres were also present. These were Vulindlela Msibi, Vincent Dlamini, Elijah Shongwe and Patrick Pha Motsa. The chief of the area, Velamuva Maseko, thanked His Majesty for the clinic. He also warned his subjects to guard against wild fires. He then appealed for a high school in the area.
The 160 000 pledge will be shared by the following;
1. Zondwako - Phakamela School - Electrical Wiring
2. Bhunya High School - Foot Bridge
3. Bhunya Secondary School - High School.Building Project
4. Bhunya Pri. School - School Roofing and Painting
5. Mhlambanyatsi Primary. School- Class Rooms Roofing and Painting
6. Mpuluzi High School - Staff Houses Roofing
7. Dingizwe Community School- Class-room Desks
8. Lundzi Community School- Class-room Desks
9. Torgyle Community School Renovation
1. Gwalubovu Community Water Project
2. Lamgabhi Community Water project (3schools, inkh &clinic)
3 .Ekuthozeni School Electric Wiring
4. Luyengweni Clinic
5. Othandweni Seconday School - New site fencing
1. Community Water Project
2. Osuthu Methodist Primary and High School - Water Tanks
3. Mangcongco Primary and High School- Water Tanks
4. Dwalile Primary and High School- Water Tanks
5. Youth Artworks Association
6. Mangcongco Clinic - Water Tank
1. Sigangeni Community - Clinic Toilets
2. Sigangeni Community - Foot Bridge
3. Siphocosini Community - School Class room
1. Mahhashini Community - Clinic Rebuilding
2. Mankayane High Sch - Rebuild Burnt School
3. Macundvulwini Primary School -Water Tank
08 November 2007
Cops bust sex house
BY MUSA NHLEKO
DVOKOLWAKO – Police busted a sex den yesterday in a rural homestead at Dvokolwako.
The Mliba police were called to investigate the homestead that had been turned into a sex den by four teenagers, who recently dropped out of school in ‘pursuit of happiness’.
Swaziland has one of the highest HIV and AIDS prevalence rates in the world and the vulnerable youth are among the most affected.
Residents blew the whistle on the sex workers after they spotted men regularly visiting the homestead. They became suspicious of their activity, as most of the time the girls lived there alone.
It is said that the residents reported the matter to the local Umphakatsi before notifying the police, who, after raiding the homestead yesterday, took two girls in for questioning.
They later returned for the others, who were not at the homestead when the police arrived earlier.
The girls are aged between 14 and 17 years. It was established that poverty played a role in their vulnerability as they would visit Croydon to meet males whom they would convince to buy them food and alcohol. They said the men would then ask for sexual favours and the girls would not refuse as they felt obliged to pay in kind.
It was gathered that the girls would take the men to the two-roomed house at Dvokolwako.
Here, sources reveal, the girls would have sexual intercourse with the men in one room after buying them alcohol. The girls have regular clients, though the men can pick any of them in the event their preferred girls are not around.
An older woman, who shared one of the two rooms with the girls, is said to have been oblivious of their actions as most of the time she would either be asleep or at work.
Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed that the police received a report that a certain homestead had been turned into a brothel.
He said the police were investigating the matter, but also mentioned that the police under the Domestic Violence and Child Protection Unit counselled the girls.
07 November 2007
Sorry: Ernest tells parents, pupils
By Njabulo Dlamini
DIRECTOR and Principal of Pro-Learning Tuition Centre Ernest Magongo has apologised to the ministry of education, parents, pupils, Christian fraternity and nation at large for eloping when he was needed the most.
Cool and confident as ever, Magongo said his disappearance was because of pressure mounted by failure to raise exam fees for 85 pupils, thus failing to beat the deadline.
They were able to raise fees for only 120 pupils instead of the 205 total.
His school was owing Exams Council E65 600 in penalties alone
and the E73 800 paid proved insufficient as a result of this.
“I would like to convey my sincere apologies to the parents, students and the ministry of education for what happened. This was not planned but sometimes things do not go the way one had anticipated.
“I would like to inform my students that I don’t blame them for the damage they caused to our property. They were forced by circumstances,” Magongo said, when speaking at a press conference convened at his school yesterday.
He thanked God that the matter has ‘finally been resolved’ with the help of ministry of education, Exams Council of Swaziland and parliament.
“Special thanks go to our lawyer Zonke Magagula for the big role that he played during the negotiations, my family, the academic and ancillary staff at Pro-Learning, the Christian fraternity for their prayers and support during these trying times”.
He said their centre only provided tuition, for O’ level pupils, and they (pupils) had to find their own exam centres.
“We would like to assure all concerned that Pro-Learning is here to stay. Pro-Learning is one of a few private schools owned and run by a qualified Swazi teacher. As a born and bred Swazi, I have no other home except Swaziland. We have always and are committed to providing quality education to our students.
“We are committed to seeing to it that we make Pro-Learning to be among the top five schools in Swaziland in the next three years,” he said.
Attempts to get comments from the Exams Council acting registrar proved futile.
Meanwhile, Goodman Kunene, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Education, said he was unaware of the issue since he had been away and was yet to receive a briefing.
Then acting education minister Lutfo Dlamini had informed parliament government had resolved the matter by paying for the pupils and thus they were expected to sit for exams.
He said in the meantime, the search for Magongo’s whereabouts would continue.
07 November 2007
His Majesty warns overweight officers
BY ARTHUR MORDUNT
MATSAPHA _ His Majesty King Mswati III has warned against potbellies and drunkenness among the police.
The king said members of the Royal Swaziland Police (RSP) had to always be in shape. He said it would be disappointing to see members of the security force with big stomachs.
His Majesty was speaking yesterday during the triple celebrations of the police, which were held at the Matsapha Police College.
The celebrations comprised a police centenary, (from 1907-2007), a police day and a pass out parade.
In particular, the king’s advice was directed at the young officers who were graduating from the college.
The king stated that he was impressed with their physical appearance and stated that it would be a shame if, a few years from now, they would have drooping bellies.
He stated, for instance, that he was not the only person impressed with the physical shape of the force.
He told the gathering about a foreign guest he had who was so impressed by the physical prowess of the local police that he had even insinuated that there might some voodoo used for training the police.
The king also cautioned the police on a number of traps they might fall into while executing their duties.
Said the king: “Let me warn you that you will be facing the realities of practical policing as you meet people who will entice you with a variety of things in an attempt to sway you from the oath that you have just taken. You must always be careful not to fall prey to such cunning individuals. As a police officer you must make sure that you associate with good friends.
“You must always avoid the use of liquor and intoxicating substances. In short, you must guard against engaging in behavior that is at odds with police norms or code of conduct because such behavior would not only harm your reputation, but would also damage and compromise the image of the police service.”
His Majesty also had advice for senior officers saying they should humble themselves and learn new policing methods from their new colleagues.
Likewise, he advised the younger generation not to despise their older colleagues.
06 November 2007
20 cattle stolen at Maphungwane
By Hlengiwe Ndlovu
A herd of 20 cows belonging to a Mdlovu homestead of Maphungwane was stolen last week by a group of cattle rustlers.
The matter was reported to the police and the cattle have not been found as yet.
Lieutenant Khanya Dlamini who is the army PRO said a total of five Mozambican nationals who had attempted to illegally enter the Lomahasha and Maphiveni border posts without the necessary documents were arrested recently.
He also reported that a sum of E15 880 was pending in payment to Swazi customs for the month of October. The PRO, on the other hand reported that a stolen Nissan Cabster which was stolen at Siweni Railway station was recovered by the army and the matter was later handed to the Simunye Police station for further investigation. Dlamini said the army was dedicated and alert whilst executing its duties. He said any threats to peace and stability would stimulate the defence force to move its forces to troubled areas, where the lives of the country’s citizens were continuosly violated by border violators. He added that the defence force appreciated the relationship that exists with communities in its operational areas.
Other stolen items recovered by the army include:
two bags of Growing Mash
Packets of 500g popcorns
four cases of meat
15 dozen eggs
10 2 litres cooking oil
50 used clothes
20 pairs of new shoes
138 used clothes
three sets of cosmetics.
06 November 2007
Four killed by lightning
BY MUSA NHLEKO
MANZINI – Four people were killed by lightning in separate incidents yesterday.
Two were pupils of Sinceni Primary School, while the other are two grown-up men, who were killed while enjoying traditional beer with their friends. Sources close to the matter at Sinceni told the Times that the fatality happened at around 3pm during a storm. The rural area of Sinceni is situated next to Sithobelweni.
By the time of compiling this report, telephone lines and the cellular phone network in the area were also affected by the lightning, and it was not possible to get details of the incident.
At least 10 other pupils were rushed to Sithobelweni Clinic for injuries and trauma.
It was gathered that there was a brief delay in ferrying the pupils as there was no driver for the clinic’s ambulance.
Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed the death of the two pupils.
Meanwhile the two men are aged 45 and 50, and were also struck dead by lightning at Matsanjeni yesterday evening. According to the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Vusi Masuku, the two were struck and killed while enjoying traditional beer with four others. One female, believed to have been running the drinking spot, was rushed to Matsanjeni Clinic in a critical condition.
02 November 2007
EKHAYA! MFANASIBILI AXED FROM SEB
By Alec Lushaba
Prince Mfanasibili, the nine-day Acting SEB Board of Directors’ chairman, was yesterday fired from his position, amid the crisis he allegedly created last week.
A special Cabinet sitting yesterday resolved to dismiss the prince and replaced him with one who will reign over the multi-million Emalangeni public enterprise.
Replacing him is African Alliance Managing Director Sthofeni Ginindza. Other new board members are Swaziland Sugar Association CEO Prof. Mike Matsebula, Princess Msindvose and Nazarene Nursing College Rector Dr. Winnie Nhlengethwa.
They are now joining Khanyi Mabuza, Paul Hamilton, Henry Shongwe from Natural Resources and Energy and Fitzgerald Graham from Finance.
Prince Mfanasibili’s offence is understood to have been his last Tuesday’s action which was viewed to be in support of the unions that had embarked on an illegal strike in an industry that is classified as essential.
Hardly 24 hours after his appointment into the position of being acting Chairman, Prince Mfanasibili called a crisis meeting of the Board and the SEB unions at Tums George Hotel where a decision was taken to unconditionally withdraw the Court Order concerning NESMASA executive.
Further, it was resolved in that meeting that the issue of NESMASA and SESMAWU membership appearance before the KPMG Forensic Audit shall be put on hold until the Board addresses concerns raised by the two.
Principal Secretary in the ministry of natural resources and energy Lucy Dlamini declined to comment on the changes yesterday, saying only the minister Dumsile Sukati, can comment on the issue.
However, several attempts to get Sukati or the Government Spokesperson Percy Simelane’s comment proved futile as their mobile phones were not answered.
Meanwhile, Prince Mfanasibili when contacted said he was not aware of the latest developments.
“I have not yet heard anything regarding the changes. I have not received any communication,” he said.
The prince said as far as he was aware, his term of office was only to expire in March 2009.
“If what you are saying is true, then, it means we must have done something terrible wrong. So at this stage, I cannot comment much on the matter, as I am yet to receive the letter from the minister stating the reasons why my services were terminated,” Prince Mfanasibili said.
The Swazi Observer can reveal with authority that such an action or decision proved to be too difficult for the SEB managing director and his management team to carry as already it was a matter for the courts.
The NESMASA executive is now faced with contempt of court charges.
In fact, the union leaders will appear before the Industrial Court President Peter Dunseith this morning to hear the outcome of their contempt charges and further make a determination on SEB’s application to end the illegal strike action.
The Swazi Observer can reveal that during their 'illegal' strike action last week, the union members attempted to sabotage the company senior management by switching off electricity in targeted critical areas like Lozitha, Ludzidzini Royal Residence and surrounding areas and Pine Valley.
It is said that the aim was to create a crisis situation, and depicting the MD and his team as failing to bring under control the situation.
Pine Valley, it is said, was targeted because that is the home of Industrial Court President Peter Dunseith, who had issued an order to the effect that the illegal strike action be stopped pending the return of the matter to court for full hearing.
SEB management when contacted yesterday confirmed the disruptions, saying they were pure sabotage attempts than genuinely faults.
When sought for comment on his appointment, the African Alliance MD, could only confirm that he heard the rumours, but nothing was officially communicated to him.
“For now, it is a rumour and I will be in a position to comment once I have been officially informed,” Ginindza said.
The Swazi Observer can confirm that other than Prince Mfanasibili, all the other members were retained.
It was gathered that a full SEB board of directors' quota is made of nine people including the MD, hence the additional four appointments were made to fill the gap and replace recently departed chairman Gerhard Landmark.
The Swazi Observer also gathered that Prince Mfanasibili's attempt to meet His Majesty was unsuccessful on Wednesday evening.
02 November 2007
Brave security guard shoots burglar dead
By NATHI GULE
SALEM – A brave security guard took on three burglars and shot one dead in the head using a principal’s hunting rifle on Wednesday night.
The Hlathikulu Central School principal owns the unfenced grocery store that was being broken into by the three men not too far from the school.
This is the umpteenth killing of a suspect criminal over the past two months and the cases of such shootings spiralled after the killing of most wanted suspect Ntokozo Ngozo in August.
Intuition guided Samuel Dlamini to give his normally unarmed security guard, Malambe Mdluli, after he spotted a group of men smoking dagga next to his store on Monday.
The security guard lives in one of the rooms in the four-roomed brown and white coloured grocery store.
On Wednesday at about 10pm, Mdluli said his sleep was interrupted by the sound of footsteps and voices outside.
“I heard the corrugated iron sheets being removed and two men jumped into the grocery store. I grabbed my rifle and stood on guard, while peeping through a hole we had made to see inside the main room. When one of the unsuspecting thieves came towards a fridge next to the open space I took aim and fired. He dropped dead,” said the guard.
He said, ‘guided by God,’ he then went out and opened fire at the two other robbers who were now trying to gain entry into his room. They took to their heels immediately and are currently on the run.
Mdluli said on the day of the shooting he did unusual things like praying before going on duty and not listening to any radio.
Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed the incident.
He said police were still investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting as well as whether Mdluli was authorised to be in possession of the rifle.