30 August 2007
100 000 AT UMHLANGA
By Hlengiwe Ndlovu
ENGABEZWENI Royal Residence was abuzz yesterday when His Majesty King Mswati III dispatched about 100 000 maidens to cut the reed in the ongoing annual reed dance ceremony.
The enthusiastic maidens were dispatched at around 5:45 pm and the air was filled with wild, unified and enchanted screams as the maidens joined the rest of the royal family in song and dance. The figures in this year’s reed dance attendance and participation seem to have doubled as compared to the recorded numbers in the previous years.
Last year, about 55 000 maidens attended the reed dance and observers have said the ceremony seems to be gaining popularity each year.
Dispatching the girls, the King, through Inkhosatana Sikhanyiso, who is leader of the Imbali Yemaswati regiment, wished the maidens a safe and fun-filled journey throughout the reed dance ceremony. “Itsi Ingwenyama inifisela luhambo loluhle” announced Princess Sikhanyiso while the maidens responded with much jeering and a loud Bayethe Wenawaphakathi which reverberated across the entire residence.
The participation in this year’s reed dance from the armed forces seems to have also increased tremendously.
Female members of the Royal Swaziland Police (RSP), His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS) and the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) also joined the excited maidens in song as they constantly took the stage where some of the maidens were dancing before the arrival of His Majesty.
“It is encouraging to see that the girls are really excited about the reed dance,” remarked one of the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe finalists whilst another maiden added that the reed dance also produced solidarity because the girls were together with one goal, that of paying tribute to the King and Indlovukazi as well as preserving the maidens’ chastity.
30 August 2007
Underhand dealing at the Nhlangano Casino?
Yesterday, a statement by a civil servant summed up all that is wrong with the government and parastatal tendering process.
Mduduzi Magongo of the Ministry of Tourism said he could not reveal the price paid by a private investor for the Nhlangano Hotel and Casino.
This hotel is a fully owned government property and paid for with Swazi taxpayers money.
The price must be revealed and also that of the losing tenderers so that the public can see that there was no funny business in the whole deal. As it is now we are all wondering why the secrecy and has anything underhand occurred. We have so many reports of strange goings-on with government tenders from oil rigs to pharmaceutical tenders. Also many tenders are received from obscure companies, set up in 24 hours, professing the needed technical knowledge they haven’t a clue about.
For the past several years we have been trying without success to get from the Tender Board winning and losing tender prices of all tenders so that we can publish them and the public can then see where its money is going. Instead we have been blocked with all sorts of excuses that the requesting relevant ministry should give us the prices, who then dodge the issue, and other flim-flam excuses. If the Tender Board publishes the tenders to the public they must be the ones to reveal the prices.Secrecy invites speculation and corruption.
If we are to be serious about corruption, this is a relatively easy way to crack down on some irregularities that are loopholes for the unscrupulous.
27 August 2007
Imbali register tomorrow
By Hlengiwe Ndlovu
IMBALI Yemaswati overseer Ntfonjeni Dlamini has announced that the registration dates for this year’s reed dance have since changed.
It had been earlier announced that maidens attending the reed dance would be expected to register tomorrow at Ludzidzini, but the reed dance programme has been changed such that the maidens will now register tomorrow. Making the announcement on radio, the Imbali overseer said there had to be a slight shift in dates because His Majesty King Mswati III was expected to officially open the Trade Fair on the 1st of September, the same day it had been initially announced that the maidens would deliver the reed at the Ludzidzini royal residence.
“The King has issued an order that there should be a slight shift in this year’s reed dance programme,” said Dlamini.
The Imbali overseer further said the nation should not be surprised by such changes because Swaziland was renowned to be a peaceful country and hence there had to be harmony in the national events that will be hosted in the country in the next few days.
“In all the four regions of the country, people should understand that all the activities to be hosted in the country demand the King’s attention and especially the customary activities,” said Dlamini, adding that the Swazi nation, being a respectful nation, always embraces everything once it had been blessed by the King.
Meanwhile, Dlamini announced that trucks had been commissioned to fetch the maidens from their different chiefdoms tomorrow morning. He further called upon the community police in the different areas to be as vigilant as possible to ensure maximum safety for the maidens and issued a stern warning to all the people who had targetted the reed dance for other misdemeanours that they should desist from displaying any unbecoming behaviour at the reed dance.
27 August 2007
Magudvulela’s Indian experience
BY CHARLES MATSEBULA
MBABANE—An Indian Hotel detained a Swazi National Council Standing Committee member for failing to settle a bill. The Taj President Mumbai Hotel confirmed to the Times SUNDAY that the Liqoqo member—who we can confirm is Chief Magudvulela—was held for 12 296 rubies (Indian currency) which is equivalent to E7 000 plus.
At one time, Chief Magudvulela is said to have literally made a dash for it when asked to settle his bill.
It is also said he interrupted an official ceremony where Enterprise and Employment Minister Lutfo Dlamini was officiating—during an official opening of a certain building.
The chief stormed to the front of the guests, startling the dignitaries at the event.
“Well, the minister was busy with something else so we said, why wait for him when we can also handle the job,” he said last night, adding that to his understanding, everyone was in India to work.
The minister was contacted over the matter, and although declining to comment on the first issue pending an official report from his officers who were left behind to be in charge of the delegation, he said, “that was embarrassing,” when referring to the conduct of the Liqoqo member during the official event.
The minister said he left earlier for Swaziland leaving the chief behind and he was still waiting for reports of whatever happened after they had left. He alluded to ‘having heard’ about the matter.
It is said that just as the minister was expected to cut the ribbon, Magudvulela jumped for the pair of sensors, took it and said, “I’m the Chief, bring it hear, I’ll do it”.
He cut the ribbon leaving everybody stunned.
The chief is said to have been embarrassing to members of the Swazi delegation, mostly concluding that his behaviour and conduct served to only embarrass the king and the country more than anything.
“Yes, we had such a person. He spent one night with us,” said a manager at the hotel, who identified himself as Puneet. He told this newspaper that the bill was later cleared, this after they had detained the Dlamini man.
Puneet was called on Friday.
The manager also confirmed the amount over our telephone interview and the name of Magudvulela Dlamini in their computers, which he said appears as proof that he was their guest and had had a problem settling his bill.
“I can’t deny the allegation, I’ve been hearing this embarrassing news,” further said the Enterprise and Employment Minister when asked to comment.
This was after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said he would be the right person to comment on the matter.
The minister said for such a sensitive issue he would have to wait for an official report before he could say something.
The chief was said to have been rescued by the Malaysian High Commission’s office, which paid the bills, sources said.
Sources told this newspaper that Chief Magudvulela was wining and dinning with people but he would leave the bill behind for other people to pay. But his habit could not last him as officials had been aware if his stunt, and had been tracking him until he was caught.
Unfortunately, at that moment, the chief was not carrying any cash, leading to an embarrassing situation.
“Sometimes he would just join a table and tell the people that he was Chief Magudvulela, a prince from Swaziland. ‘I’m here to inspect if this place, the environment is conducive for His Majesty the King to pay a visit,’” said sources who were in India.
“I don’t know the issue, it’s news to me, it will be a shock for the old man to go through such experience,” said the minister of Foreign Affairs, Mathendele Dlamini when called for comment.
The minister referred the matter to his Principal Secretary, Clifford Mamba who said, “I don’t know, I’m not aware, nothing has been reported as of now.”
Mamba when asked how embassies and High Commissions could deal with such a situation said, “It can happen in two ways; they can either send us a request in writing or just help right away and then report to us later.”
The PS said they would be further waiting for a report on the matter. Mamba only confirmed that Hlophe, (High Commissioner) was in charge of the trip.
Last night, Chief Magudvulela told the Times SUNDAY that his trip to India went very well.
Though trying to refute the reports, the chief wanted to know where such information came from. He also asked of the amount involved, as if gauging how much information we knew.
He said he was on his way to give his side of the story on the Indian trip which he believes was more positive.
However, he confirmed staying in that hotel for a few days but could not be specific. He also failed to say how much he paid as his final bill.
24 August 2007
'MANNA' FROM MTN
By Musa Ndlangamandla
AT 1 p.m. on the dot yesterday Swaziland made history in the fast changing world of telecommunications when it became the first country ever to launch the ground-breaking Dynamic Tariffing.
The service, which was launched by MTN Swaziland, allows all Pay As You Go customers to get discounted rates when they make calls at specific areas and times of the day.
The service, which hitherto was enjoyed by callers around Matsapha and Luyengo - at pilot stages - has been rolled out to more designated areas.
The historic launch, which saw MTN Swaziland become the first ever mobile telephone company to launch Dynamic Tariffing, was held at Malutha Base Station, at Mangcongco Inkhundla.
MTN Swaziland Chief Executive Officer Tebogo Mogapi did the honours of cutting the ribbon to launch the service under the banner ‘MTN Y’ello Zone’.
Present to witness the occasion was MTN Swaziland Board Chairman Senator Winnie Magagula, Mangcongco MP Patrick Motsa, the area’s traditional authorities and residents.
24 August 2007
About 200 warriors begin hunting
BY SENZO DLAMINI
HLANE – At least 200 members of various regiments were in possession of licensed firearms during the first day of the royal hunt (butimba) yesterday.
It was around 3:15pm when the much-awaited hunting took place at a certain thick bush called Mdolofiya.
About 150 members of regiments, as per the calculations of this newspaper in consultation with the police, carried 12-bore shot-guns (luhlwayi) while the remaining 50 used pistols (emavolovolo) to track down the wild animals.
His Majesty King Mswati III, through Inyatsi (Engabezweni) Indvuna Dumakuphisa Mamba, ordered that the warriors armed with firearms must hunt alone.
Mamba explained: “This will help avoid any accidents that may lead to fatalities during the hunting expedition”.
It is worth mentioning that a majority of the owners of the shotguns, on Tuesday, surrendered them to the police for safety reasons.
The rest of the warriors estimated to be around 300 seemed to derive immense pleasure in using spears to hunt down the wild animals.
The spear-wielding warriors were apparently in high spirit as they leaped forward in sheer ecstasy immediately the king sanctioned the royal hunt to begin.
Others were seen sharpening their spears using stones.
23 August 2007
Local farmer conquers sandanezwe
By Phila Dlamini
23 August 2007
‘Popeye’ Hillary was protecting girl, car
BY SANDILE NKAMBULE
MANZINI – Gladwin Popeye Hillary says he accidentally shot his friend Mmiso Dlamini during a scuffle they had over the firearm.
Hillary, who is employed by Swaziland Lumber Security as a Human Resources Manager, says he only meant to scare his friend off when the gun went of.
Hillary is the son to Police Commissioner, Edgar Hillary.
According to Hillary in his founding affidavit during his bail application at the High Court, on August 11, 2007 he was arrested by the Pigg’s Peak Police after surrendering himself to them after the incident where his friend was accidentally hit by a bullet from a pistol in his possession.
Hillary said his friend had a quarrel with his (Dlamini’s) girlfriend and that the said girlfriend is known to him.
The said girlfriend, according to Hillary, ran to his car to seek refuge and locked herself inside.
Dlamini then pursued her and tried to gain access through the car’s front door open window and it was at that stage that he tried to intervene as he believed that his car would be dented.
“I tried hard to reason with Mmiso who did not listen to anything I said, but continued with his efforts to get into the motor vehicle through the window meanwhile inflicting serious dents on the vehicle.
“In an attempt to scare him off I pulled out my pistol and told him to back off, but he seemingly was never scared but went for the pistol and it was at that stage that it went off and Mmiso was shot,” Hillary alleged.
Manzini based Lawyer Bhekisa Zwane of Rodrigues and Associates represented Hillary in the matter.
22 August 2007
'IT WAS HELL'
By Hlengiwe Ndlovu
when the car
head-on with a
truck and was
it crashed in
a ditch at
The sedan was
headed for the
truck that had
it. As the
back the sedan
it hit other
cars along the
could not jump
doors were jam
mouse in the
mouth of a
cat, the sedan
fuel along the
homes close to
the truck fell
on its right
remains of the
to use picks
and shovels to
tear the sedan
They were then
whisked to The
tried to have
still in the
two of those
aboard a van
injured in the
22 August 2007
Residents fight cops over booze
BY SENZO DLAMINI AND PHUMLILE SIMELANE
MBABANE – Sidvwashini residents were not intimidated when police
fired into the air and threw smoke canisters to disperse a crowd
from looting bottles of alcohol that littered the road after the
truck carrying it overturned.
The chaos and looting started after the driver of the truck,
which was bound for Matsapha, lost control of it resulting in it
ramming into nine vehicles before finally resting on its side,
spilling its load, which consisted of various types of alcoholic
beverages on the road.
The accident happened around 10:30am.
A man and his child were said to have been rushed to hospital
from the carnage that left some of the 12 cars extensively
While the few police officers who were first to arrive at the
scene focused on the wounded, the residents opted to secure what
remained from the crates carrying the drinks for themselves.
The pieces of bottles that littered the consignment and road
also did not deter the residents who came out in their numbers.
This included pupils from a nearby school as they left their
teachers in class on their own and rushed to the scene of the
accident. It was not to assist the injured, but it was to join
in the looting.
Reinforcements had to be called in as the few police officers
were overwhelmed by the residents who were around 300 in number.
The backup, which included members of the National Fire and
Emergency department, did not have any impact at first as the
residents stood their ground.
An effort by the fire service personnel to stop the looting by
spraying them with water while some police officers chased them
with sticks resulted in the residents fighting back by pelting
them with stones.
This resulted in two officers of the National Fire department
and an employee of the WBHO, the company constructing the
Mbabane-Ngwenya Bypass Road, rushed to hospital.
The police had a torrid time trying to stop the residents from
having a field day on the alcoholic beverages.
The police at some point fired several gunshots in the air in an
attempt to disperse the ever-growing crowd, but they did not
move an inch. Instead they told the police that they were not
afraid of guns.
The police and fire fighters ended up requesting back up as the
crowd was getting out of hand.
“These are the methods we use to disperse crowds but we are
failing at this particular time,” said a senior fire fighter.
21 August 2007
BUTIMBA BEGINS TODAY
By Timothy Simelane
INGWENYAMA Mswati III will
lead regiments to a
hunting expedition known
as Butimba at Hlane Game
The ancient old tradition
has been observed by the
nation, and is practiced
after an order issued by
the head of state.
Governor TV Mtsetfwa said
all king’s regiments were
ordered to assemble at the
Ludzidzini Royal Residence
and wait for an order
commissioning them to
launch to the plains of
Hlane Game Reserve.
Mtsetfwa said regiments
from all the country’s
regions were expected to
take part in this year’s
The last time Swaziland
had an official butimba
was seven years ago when
His Majesty also led
regiments to Hlane.
Responding to questions
from this newspaper,
Mtsetfwa said regiments
should come with own
traditional weapons and
licensed guns, as has
always been the order
during past butimba
ceremonies. The ceremony
is expected to draw crowds
of fanatics of Swazi
Regiments will be
transported aboard trucks
and buses to the game
reserve where the action
will begin in earnest
after an order from the
heads of regiments.
It is expected that
they will spend the night
at Hlane, afterwhich they
will wake up early in the
morning to start the
Mtsetfwa said the
duration of this year’s
hunting expeditions was
not known, but would
depend on a directive from
His Majesty. However, the
norm has been that such an
occasion lasts for two to
three days, at most.
“All regiments are
expected to attend without
fail as this is a Royal
Order,” the governor said.
committee for the butimba
comprises the Ministry of
Home Affairs which is
represented by Prince
Gabheni, Big Game Parks
represented by Director
Ted 'Machobane' Reily, the
army and the police.
The committee sat
yesterday at Ludzidzini
Royal Residence to arrange
modalities for the
cultural event, afterwhich
a press conference was
21 August 2007
Mzikayise’s rival shot at three times
BY SIHLE MZILENI
NHLANGANO – A member of a faction, which was against the late
Mzikayise Ntshangase’s chieftaincy was on Saturday forced to
flee his homestead using a window as three armed men attacked
him and his wife. This was after the three men broke into Dalton
Zwane and his wife Zanele Khumalo’s homestead and later shot at
the couple as they tried to return home.
Zwane had woken up to check why the dogs were barking
continuously when he saw the men who were also armed with an axe
standing outside his door.
The incident happened at Mavundluthi area in
the Shiselweni region. The area was in dispute between the late
Mzikayise and Salebona Ntshangase as they both claimed
chieftaincy over it.
Zwane is currently serving at the disputed chief Salebona
Ntshangase’s inner council as a member. He was not found at his
homestead yesterday as it was reported that he had been summoned
to the Ludzidzini Royal residence.
While it could not be confirmed what the cause behind the attack
was, Zwane’s wife said they were equally baffled and said it
could have been a robbery as she runs a grocery together with
Relating the ordeal yesterday, Khumalo said it was around 11 pm
last Saturday when they were woken up by a nagging barking of
dogs at their yard.
She said since cattle rustlers were currently looting in the
area her husband woke up to peep through a window.
“When he looked out he saw the three men who were carrying an
axe standing at the doorstep. We then heard a deafening sound as
the men used the axe to break the door down.
“As they were hacking the door we sneaked out through the window
and fled to hide in the nearby long grass. We stayed there for
about an hour before my husband went to check if they were still
there. At the time we were busy trying to contact the Hluti
police using our cellphones but their lines were busy,” said
She said she tried to contact her brother who stays in Hluti to
go and alert the police of the attack.
Khumalo said she followed her husband back to the homestead but
as they were about to reach it, the men appeared from behind a
boulder, which is in the yard and fired three shots at her
“Luckily they missed and we again took to our heels and had to
dive into the thicket to avoid being seen and shot at again. As
we lay in the thicket we heard the men running away at the same
time giving one another instructions on which direction to take.
“We lay there for sometime and when we thought it was safe we
ran to our neighbour’s place to seek refuge there,” she said.
Khumalo said she had managed to get hold of her brother and he
had managed to contact the police. The police are said to have
arrived around 3am and that is when Khumalo and her husband
returned home only to find that it had been ransacked.
She said she believed the men were looking for money.
Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku
confirmed the attack on Zwane and his wife adding that
investigations were on-going. Masuku could not be drawn to
comment on the motive behind the attack.
20 August 2007
Lazy community to lose out on water project
Stories by Njabulo Dlamini
RESIDENTS of Zombodze
constituency may lose out
on a E1.2 million water
project to benefit over
600 homesteads following
The residents who were
enthusiastic when the
project was launched on
July 3 this year, have
failed to provide the
manpower needed to dig
trenches for the piping
system to be put up.
As a result, Rural
Water Supply officials
Officer) and Sibusiso
Mamba (Clerk Officer)
pleaded with the residents
to own up to their promise
or they risked forfeiting
the project to other
well-attended meeting at
the Zombodze constituency
on Saturday, Sikhondze
said he was disappointed
that only a handful of
residents turned up for
the work since it
commenced seven weeks ago.
“Six months was
allocated for the project
and in terms of procedure,
budgeted funds are
forfeited if not utilised
within the specified
period. We ask you to
stand up and be counted,
through participating in
the digging of trenches,”
Sikhondze said the
project would not benefit
all the four chiefdoms
under the constituency,
noting this caused an
uproar at the project
“If you are not
interested, we might as
well consider the other
chiefdoms who were left
out since they had
expressed desire to work.
We also have
constituencies ravaged by
drought and scarcity of
water supply; government
may divert the funds to
those areas if you aren’t
“Since 1995, when I
came here, you’ve been
appealing to government
for the provision of clean
water and now that she has
responded, suddenly you’ve
grown weary. Watch out,
you risk losing out!”
He further challenged
the headman of the
Zombodze chiefdom and
constituency team as well
as chairman of the project
committee to do something
about the state of affairs
since materials were
gathering dust and could
be stolen where they were
Meanwhile, Mamba said
the project should be
through by December this
year or residents would
lose out if they failed to
beat the deadline.
He wondered what had
made residents grow weary
feet since it was them who
called for provision of
clean water in the first
“Forget those who are
misleading you; no funds
were allocated by
government for those
digging the trenches. By
providing the manpower,
you are contributing to
the project in a way or
otherwise if government
does everything, you could
think it belongs to her
when it’s yours,” he said.
MP Thwala had
complained that some
amongst the residents were
misled into believing
funds had been allocated
for manpower so that they
stopped working on the
site, which was a l
17 August 2007
E550m for Sikhuphe Airport
BY INNOCENT MAPHALALA
MBABANE – Costs for constructing the Sikhuphe International Airport at Hlane have now risen to E550 million.
The costs have been escalating over the years, even though the actual amount it was to cost was never made specific. A progress report from the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development places the projected figure for total costs at E550 million. This, the report says, is according to calculations done last year.
The airport is part of government’s Millennium Projects, which also include factory shells being constructed in various areas around the country, an amusement park to be built in Manzini and a state-of-the-art Convention Centre.
The new Mavuso Trade Centre is also part of the Millennium Projects.
When these projects were initiated, there was public outcry on their viability.
It was felt in some quarters that the kingdom did not, for instance, need another airport because the Matsapha International Airport is underutilised as it is.
Economic Planning Minister Reverend Absalom Dlamini said last week that a lot of work had been covered at Sikhuphe.
He said at least E237 million that had been requested and included in the initial budget for the 2007/08 financial year had been sought to pay contractors for work already done.
A supplementary budget approved last month added a further E47 million, which would also go to this project.
It was explained when the supplementary request was discussed, that the money was only for the current financial year, as there was still ‘a huge programme’ planned for the terminals, hangars and other things.
The target, according to the minister, is to have the structure ready by 2010, when neighbouring South Africa will be hosting the FIFA World Cup Finals.
Swaziland hopes to benefit economically from the activity that will come with this international soccer showpiece.
17 August 2007
MP’s fleeing son dives into ‘crocodile
BY BONISILE MAKHUBU
MBABANE - Sigwe MP Joshua Mangena Jele’s son, a fugitive of the
law, dived into the crocodile-infested Usuthu River while
fleeing from the police on Tuesday.
This river has in the past been reported for
incidents in which crocodiles attacked people.
Mndeni Jele, 26, of Lulakeni is on the police’s list of most
wanted suspects in connection with a string of robberies and
house breakings that were staged in different areas around the
Jele is a former soldier and was implicated in the armed robbery
that took place at Mpaka Shopping Complex early this year.
Sources close to the matter said a team of police officers from
the Lubombo region teamed up to look for Jele, one Fuhlu Sibiya,
and other suspects on their list.
“The police were driving in a kombi and when they stopped it a
few metres away from the homestead where Jele had taken refuge,
he fled and climbed over a fence and headed for the Usuthu
River,” said the source.
It was said the police pursued him to the river without firing a
shot even when it transpired they were not catching up with the
Jele went straight into the reeds on the banks of the river and
into the water, leaving the police standing on the bank around
the spot where they last saw him when he disappeared. A witness,
who was among the residents who were attracted to the scene by
the drama, said the police proceeded to the river, but could not
see him in the water or anywhere on the banks.
“They waited there for a while, nursing hopes that he would
eventually emerge from the water, if he had not already made it
across,” said the witness.
The police are said to have abandoned the search for the day and
returned to the homestead, where they conducted a raid before
they moved to neighbouring homes.
The search continued even yesterday morning, but had not been
successful by the afternoon.
Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku
confirmed the matter and said the police would not tire until
they rounded up all the suspects.
MP Jele said he was aware of the incident and that his son last
went home in December last year.
16 August 2007
Satanic worshipper’ gets two years imprisonment
By Sipho Dlamini
THE self- proclaimed ‘Satanic
worshipper’ has been sentenced to
two years imprisonment without an
option of a fine after being found
guilty of house breaking with
intent to steal.
Nkosinathi Zoro Dlamini (22) of
Ntfonjeni area, was further fined
E200 or two months imprisonment
for being found in possession
dagga weighing nine grams.
His companion in crime, Sabelo
Nxumalo (19) of Nkambeni area, was
also sentenced to the two years
for the house breaking and theft
charge, and a further E1 000 fine
or six months imprisonment for the
theft of clothes at Ngomane, in
October last year.
The sentences for both the
accused will run concurrently.
On the main charge, both the
accused were charged with breaking
into the house of Royal Swaziland
Sugar Corporation (RSSC) medical
doctor Jackson Bitarabeho, of
They stole items valued at over
E30 000 when they broke into the
doctor’s house, on June 23 this
Before passing the sentences
magistrate Mandla Mkhaliphi, told
both the accused that he had noted
their mitigating factors and
more-so that they both pleaded
guilty to the charges.
He said he took consideration
of the fact that the accused had
indicated remorsefulness towards
their action and that they were
still young men who needed to
change their ways of life.
In the case of Dlamini, the
magistrate said he noted with
serious concern his mitigating
factor wherein he told the court
that he was driven by some spirits
that had possessed him to commit
He also considered the fact
that Dlamini had told the court he
wanted to repent from his ‘devil
About Nxumalo, the magistrate
said he had considered the fact
that he had told the court he was
invited by Dlamini to accompany
him to the scene of crime, where
he would have to assist him with
In determining sentence
Mkhaliphi said he considered their
level of understanding things as
well as their level of education.
He noted the fact that the
commission of the crime was
pre-meditated by both the accused
as they left their place of abode
to the scene of crime, with a
common interest and intention.
While he considered the
personal circumstances of the
accused, the magistrate said the
predicament faced by the
complainant also needed serious
He said this was especially so
because the complainant lost his
valuables that he had worked hard
Mkhaliphi said some of the
thousands of Emalangeni worth of
property he lost would never be
recovered as police had failed to
get them even during their
investigation of the matter.
The presiding officer noted
that the complainant would always
suffer trauma of knowing that some
intruder invaded his privacy by
breaking into his house and taking
away his valuables.
Mkhaliphi then took note of the
fact the accused were facing very
serious crimes and the sentences
that should be meted should serve
as deterrent to other would-be
He noted further that the
crimes of house breaking were
prevelent within society, thus it
had to be combated by all possible
Dlamini had recently told the
court that he was a ‘devil
worshipper’ who fed on human blood
mainly that of children because it
made him more potent. He had also
told the same magistrate that he
had sent his evil spirits to haunt
him (Magistrate) so he could not
reach judgement for the case.
Consequent to this, the Magistrate
lost keys to his office last week,
just when he was to pass sentence
which forced him to postpone the
case to yesterday. Get a full
report on the revelations made by
the devil worshipper in The
Weekend Observer tomorrow.
16 August 2007
Drivers on the phone face arrest
By Timothy Simelane
DRIVERS who use cellular phones behind the
wheel will face the long arm of the law as the
Road Traffic Bill has now been made law.
This is because it was found that cellular
phones distract attention and contribute to
The law is now awaiting to be published by
government as a legal notice before it is
implemented by traffic police officers.
The Swazi Observer got literal lessons when
calling Principal Secretary of Public Works
and Transport, Evart Madlopha on his cellular
phone to ask him about the coming into effect
of the law. Madlopha, who was driving, asked
this newspaper to wait until he had parked his
car to avoid causing an accident. After a
while, he called back to say he had safely
parked his car and would now freely answer the
questions. This conduct, Madlopha said was
required of drivers if they wanted to avoid
being hauled to jail.
The PS said the Road Traffic Bill was
passed by parliament recently, and details
many other road traffic offences and their
“Drivers should know from now on that it is
illegal to drive whilst on the phone.
The Bill has received accent from His
Majesty and now awaits being officially
published,” he said.
One alternative for drivers is to use a
hands-free kit so that all hands can
concentrate on the wheel. However, a survey
conducted by University of Witwatersrand
students after in introduction of cell phones,
found that the hand-free kit equally distracts
In the same bill, motorists will also face
the law for failing to fasten seat belts
16 August 2007
Please arrest my son - MP
BY ZWELIHLE SUKATI
MBABANE - Nkwene Member of Parliament (MP) Aaron Dladla has
pleaded with the police to arrest his son, who is 19 years
of age, for a string of cases with immediate effect.
MP Dladla has come to this decision after
his son (name withheld for ethical reasons) disappeared from
home last month and is suspected to be engaged in criminal
activities. The Member of Parliament says he is concerned
about his son such that disciplining him won’t help, but
only the intervention of the police could be of great
assistance in this case.
The honourable Member of Parliament says his son started
exhibiting deviant behaviour when he would steal chickens
from the community and those that belonged to his own home
and sell them.
“I would give him a good hiding, but his criminal tendencies
would just not die as he later began stealing from me as
well,” Dladla said.
The MP said he once beat his son for stealing his cellphone
and E50, which was inside a car, but his habit of stealing
just continued, as neighbours in the community would
complain that he had stolen from them.
“Just last month, he disgraced me during a traditional
ceremony at a Hlophe homestead where he stole a whole leg of
the beast that was slaughtered for the event,” the MP said.
He said since his son was known in the community for his
stealing tendencies, the family members in the homestead
interrogated him and he led them to where he had hidden the
chunk of meat. “He was beaten severely and I told Hlophe to
lay a charge against my son. I was the first to arrive at
the Hlatikulu Police Station, but unfortunately the police
could not arrest him since Hlophe changed his mind and
decided not to lay charges,” the MP explained.
Dladla said recently there had been a number of break-ins at
local primary school teachers’ quarters and the teachers
have since held him (MP) accountable for these, as they say
his son is the first culprit.
“Well I cannot deny the fact that he could be loitering
around at night breaking into houses because it’s now over a
month since he left home,” the Nkwene MP said.
When sought for comment, Public Relations Officer Vusi
Masuku said the police were aware of the matter, as they had
once taken the teenager for counselling. “The police were
still to check on the teenager as to whether he had improved
from his previous behaviour,” Masuku said.
“We would like to commend the parent for being such a
responsible citizen to see to it that his child is not a
social liability, but a law abiding citizen,” he continued.
The Police PRO added that they were investigating a house
breaking case in the same community, where a primary
teacher’s house was broken into and property valued at over
E1 700 was stolen.
14 August 2007
POLICE SHOOT AT MANZINI MAN
By Ackel Zwane
businessman has lived survived to tell how he survived
a volley of bullets from the police after a chase in
the early hours of Sunday morning.
Gamedze said he was coming from the casino in Ezulwini
to his home in Manzini when a sedan with four men
forced him out of the road near the Lusushwana River
at Manzana. He said he had reached the junction with
the intention to turn and join the highway to Manzini
when the police vehicle almost forced him into the
drainage canal along the road.
He said by
then he was not aware that he was being followed by
police but insisted he accelerated and feared that the
men may have been trying to hijack him.
alleged that while he swerved his car into the
highway, he noticed that the blue vehicle had a PO
registration, which meant it was a police car. He was
driving his Isuzu KB 250 Fleetside.
“But I was
not so sure whether they were genuine police officers
because there was no reason why they should force me
out of the road without even using the loud hailer to
order me to pull over. They were just too rough and I
was extremely afraid given the time of day,” said
the highway episode he said he had just crossed the
bridge in Lusushwana when he suddenly spotted the
vehicle moving at fast speed in his rear mirror. He
said he had not noticed the car trailing him when he
left the hotel where he was gambling.
highway he increased speed while the sedan followed
him at close speed. “At Lozitha I tried to leave the
highway to take the road to Ludzeludze via Ngabezweni
in attempt to get to a dirt road as fast as I could
because the vehicle would not drive at that speed.
That was not to be as they overtook me and blocked the
way. I then drove at fast speed towards Mahhala
flyover,” said Gamedze.
that when he was approaching the flyover another
volley of bullets came from the sedan and hit the car
in the bakkie. He said he kept on driving until he
arrived at the flyover and drove towards the circle.
Maneuvering the circle he spotted a traffic police
vehicle under the flyover and he decided to drive
towards the University of Swaziland.
vehicles trailed him. He said he drove towards
Ludzeludze and they trailed him. Other shots were
fired as he drove past Ludzeludze towards Mbekelweni.
“I continued to drive fast trying to reach the gravel
road. At least I know that road very well and my car
is almost a four wheel drive and could stand the bad
road at that speed,” he explained.
He said the
police followed him until Dlembeni past Sigombeni
where he finally eluded them by hiding in a nearby
thicket while they drove past at high speed.
the car in the bush and waited for about ten minutes.
It was after I was certain they had and lost my track
that I continued with the journey, this time driving
past Kukhanyeni to Manzini,” he said.
said on arrival at Manzini, around 5am he remembered
that he had a trip with his family. While relating the
ordeal, he also prepared to leave because he wanted to
report to the police and find out why they were
shooting at him.
When he was
about to leave he noticed that the rear tire had a
puncture. Checking closer he saw that there was what
appeared to be a shot.
decided to report to Matsapha police at Sigodvweni but
they said since my ordeal started at Elangeni, Lobamba
police were responsible for patrolling that area.
Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku
said neither Lobamba nor Matsapha police were aware of
the incident. He said he was still consulting by late
Gamedze said having proceeded to Lobamba police they
also denied knowledge of a car chase and shooting
earlier that day. They further referred him back to
Matsapha, he said. He added that he told that Matsapha
police had referred to Lobamba and therefore someone
must at least own up. He said finally the Lobamba
police accompanied him to Matsapha where he took down
a statement and was promised that they were
investigating. “I fear for my life because I do not
understand why the police shot at me. I am a citizen
and businessman, therefore the police should have
taken down the registration number of my car or at
least used a hailer to show that they were genuine
police instead of pushing me off the road and opening
fire,” he said. It is suspcted that he was shot using
an R4 rifle and pistol, given the shots that
penetrated his car.
with AK 47
for a firm at the Matsapha Industrial Sites is
fighting for his life at the Raleigh Fitkin memorial
Hospital after he was shot with an AK 47 assault
Masuku said police suspect that a wanted criminal
Raymond Matimba may have been responsible for the
attack. He warned members of the public that Matimba
was extremely dangerous. The security guard however
refused to meet journalists at the male surgical ward
yesterday saying he was still dazed and confused about
the circumstances leading to his getting shot. he had
apparently refused to assist Matimba rob his place of
work and that is why he was shot.
14 August 2007
Panic as HIV drugs run out
BY NHLANHLA MATHUNJWA
MBABANE – Panic struck people living with HIV and their carers as the Mbabane Government Hospital’s Voluntary Counseling and Testing Unit (VCT) suffered acute shortage of Anti Retroviral drugs in the past three weeks.
This is the latest of the many crises faced by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
Patients undergoing the HIV/AIDS treatment are said to have started to panic after being told that there were fears that the VCT would soon run out of the tablets.
Information gathered yesterday was that the problem started three weeks ago after the VCT staff members discovered that they were running short of one of the ARV drugs known as Nevirapine.
This drug reduces mother-to-child HIV transmission during birth.
The same drug is also given to patients who are on art combination as it is combined with Vidovudin and Lamivudin drugs.
Art combination refers to that stage where a person is put on ARVs.
After it was discovered that the VCT Unit was running short of the drug, it was then decided that the amount of drugs given to the patients be reduced.
Before, the patients were given drugs that would last for a month, but because of the fears of the shortage, they were then given drugs that would last for only two weeks so that there would be enough for everyone.
A patient found at the VCT Unit confirmed that she was among those who were told that they would be given tablets that would last for only two weeks.
“I asked why they were doing this as they were supposed to give me a course that would sustain me for a month, but I was only told that there was a drug shortage. I do not know if they will give me more today or not,” she said.
She stated that most of them were shocked when they were informed about the shortage.
“When I started the treatment, I was warned that if I missed them, I would die. I cannot afford to miss the drugs because I do not want to die,” she said.
When one of the VCT nurses was asked about the problem, she acted as if there was nothing wrong.
“Who said there is a shortage of ARVs? There is just nothing like that. All patients are getting their drugs and there is no problem at all,” said the nurse.
Health Services Deputy Director Dr Vusi Magagula confirmed that they had fears of the drug shortage, but said the problem had been solved.
13 August 2007
LSDI ‘ditched’ for gorgeous Jozini
By Ackel Zwane
LUBOMBO residents have expressed misgivings about the ‘blatant
abandonment’ of the Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative (LSDI)
for the more attractive Jozini Big Six project.
They observed that it was the intention of Swaziland, South
Africa and Mozambique to develop a joint implementation plan
among them for the creation of the new regional transnational
The geographical area targetted by this initiative was
defined as the eastern Swaziland, the southern part of
Mozambique and the north-eastern areas of Kwazulu Natal in
“However, South Africa and Mozambique forged ahead with the
project, leaving Swaziland behind as usual. it was envisaged
that new international roads were going to be constructed
linking Maputo to Swaziland via Mhlumeni border gate to Siteki,
Maphungwane, Tikhuba, Lukhetseni then Mambane to Usuthu gorge
where tourists villages for the three countries would be
built; and finally to Kwazulu Natal,” said resident Robert
Swaziland was also tasked with developing appropriate
facilities at localities close to or on the main tourism
routes. Mbhamali said the specific strategies were:
*to create convenient stopover where passing tourists could
be guaranteed quality services and spend their money to the
benefit of the local economy, within areas that have the
potential to offer add-on attractions and accommodation
facility over time;
*to encourage more tourists to visit the area through the
exposure of existing and new Swaziland products at such
*to build similar accommodation facilities with those
stopovers, thus encouraging tourists to also stay over in
*to develop integrated packaging of variety products and
market a well-branded regional destination to tour operators
*to develop a significant range of products around the
Jozini/Pongola poort dam, and at the Mlawula game reserve that
will act as anchor project to kick start the development of
the new cross border tourism destinations.
“:If this programme was adhered to and followed as planned
by the government, the D12 road-Mhlumeni, Siteki- Maphungwane
and Mbabane would have been tarred by now. On the contrary the
Lubombo Plateau community is more than grateful to the
government for good work in providing electricity network in
the area. It is commendable indeed,” said Mbhamali.