30 July 2007
TWO DIE IN RAGING FIRE
By Bheki Gama
TWO human bodies were burnt beyond recognition inside a forest engulfed by inferno in Pigg’s Peak in the early morning hours yesterday.
Herd boys who were looking for cattle at the forest known as B4 Forest at Mzimnene made the grizzly find at around 7a.m.
They sped off to report to their parents, who subsequently informed the area’s community police.
Pigg’s Speak are investigating circumstances leading to the death.
Police Public Relation’s Officer (PRO) Superintendent Vusie Masuku said the deceased (both males) were estimated to be between 25 and 30 years of age.
He said they were discovered in a forest that was burnt by fire, which engulfed the entire Mondi Forest.
He added that the police called D4 workers to help identify the bodies.
The bodies are currently kept at Pigg’s Peak mortuary.
“We appeal to all members of the public to please contact Pigg’s Peak police if they notice their relatives are missing,” Masuku said, mentioning.
In another development, the raging fire has so far claimed over 80 percent of Mondi Forest plantations.
The inferno fires has also razed to the ground houses and kraals in 35 homesteads at the nearby Ndzingeni area.
Amongst the homesteads is one belonging to Mvuma’s chief Kekela Dlamini where seven huts and a kraal were razed to the ground.
The nearby homesteads belonging to Msakato Dlamini and Sayetjeni Dlamini were not spared.
Not far from the chief’s place, a Magagula homestead was also reduced to ashes including huts where grain (maize) was stored. At Sayetjeni’s homestead. grain (maize) was still burning by late yesterday.
The fire also destroyed 19 rented rooms at another Magagula homestead in Pigg’s Peak, leaving at least 50 people without food and clothes.
It was gathered that about 18 children lost school uniforms and books.
A resident, Simanga Magagula pointed an accusing finger at the fire personnel for allegedly having refused to respond to their emergency calls.
He then appealed to members of the public to come to their rescue by making donations such as clothing and food.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Absalom Themba Dlamini and some cabinet ministers assessed the damage and were taken to various places where the raging fire left a trail of destruction.
The PM indicated that he was running short of words to describe his profound shock at the amount of destruction the fire had caused. The premier was speaking at Chief Kekela’s homestead shortly after a guided tour of the destroyed forests and homes. “On behalf of is Majesty, the Indlovukazi and the entire Swazi nations, we say we are deeply hurt by this disaster. We do not know what went wrong,” he said. He equated the disaster to death.
He, however, heaped praises on those who made attempts to save lives, mentioning that the chief had to break a window to save a child locked in a house at a certain homestead.
The premier said he had been informed by Senator Mavovo Mkhonto, who owns a portion of the burnt forest, that the fire was overwhelming all efforts to put it out.
“I then sent a cabinet team to assess the situation. They also told me the same story,” he said. Dlamini said police, soldiers and warders were called to assist, noting, however, that there were also engulfed by the flames.
“I’m informed that there are those who are currently without shelters to hide their heads. As government, we will try to find help,” he added.
He then appealed for assistance from every able Swazi. “There is a need for the nation to share whatever little food available,” he said, mentioning that government would also solicit assistance from the international community.
The Premier further expressed his sympathy to Mondi Forest management and workers for the loss suffered
30 July 2007
Cops, magistrates’crime syndicate exposed
By Nimrod Mabuza
MATSAPHA – A syndicate comprising some traffic police and judicial officers in Manzini and Mbabane is making a killing from motorists nabbed for drink driving, it has been revealed.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Sicelo Dlamini revealed that traces of the existence of a similar syndicate have been found in Nhlangano.
Speaking at a meeting of stakeholders on the administration of justice, Dlamini said the allegations of syndicates cashing in on motorists arrested for drink- driving were true.
“We have followed this matter and we even have some names. These cases are rampant in Mbabane and Manzini. We have found traces in Nhlangano,” he said.
Dlamini said a similar pattern with the same officers had been observed in the cases the ministry had been following. He said the same officers were involved in the arrests with the same magistrate being called to attend to the cases.
He said it had come to their attention that both the police and judicial officers involved in the scheme solicit payment from the suspects. He said some traffic officers target their prey and follow them.
The Chief Justice, Richard Banda, was present at the meeting. Banda (CJ) and the PS had in their opening speeches spoken against corruption in the judiciary and the police service. Two magistrates Joseph Gumedze and Charles Masango, dismissed the allegations of bribes as untrue, prompting the PS to reiterate his statement on corruption involving some traffic police and magistrates, stating the allegations had substance.
Masango even said the best way to handle cases of drink- driving without being painted black was not to handle them. He said each time he handled a drink-driving case, allegations would follow that he had been bribed or taken something from the suspect. “If I am to remain clean from the allegations, the best thing is to stop handling cases of drink-driving,” he said. Masango talked about the sense of duty and the desire to do justice, if he was available, as the motivation that made him to attend the cases. He said at times he was awoken at night to attend to some cases of drink-driving.
Gumedze said at times he was called in the middle of the night and had to drive from Manzini to Lobamba to preside over cases of drink-driving.
Gumedze said it obviously followed that he should be compensated for the fuel and that was not corruption. He said the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs could solve the problem by allocating cars to magistrates. If government is unable to provide cars, police could be instructed not to call magistrates to preside over cases after 5pm. Police PRO Superintendent Vusi Masuku, called to comment on the allegations of corruption made by the PS, said the allegations would be investigated and if proven the law would take its course. He said the intention of arresting suspects for drink driving was not meant to enrich anybody, but a means to prevent accidents on the road. He said it had been noted that in a majority of road accidents, alcohol had been an element.
Supt. Masuku pleaded with the victims of such corruption to come forward with information. He said they could avail such information to the nearest police station or himself.
26 July 2007
MTN CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT REGULATOR
By Bongile Mavuso
MTN Swaziland has called on the provision of an independent regulator of the country’s telecommunications industry.
Chief Executive Officer, Tebogo Mogapi said this during a “Y’ello Editors’ Briefing at the Ezulwini Sun Hotel yesterday morning.
Making his presentation, the new CEO, who takes over from Themba Khumalo, said the company had recommended such a body to the relevant authorities.
He stated that the company feels that it does not create a healthy environment for the industry to operate without a regulator.
He said this needed to be treated with urgency to address issues arising within the sector.
Mogapi stated that it would be difficult to deregulate the industry in the absence of an independent regulator.
He said MTN Swaziland had submitted its application for the renewal of their license post and eagerly await a response from the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Communications.
He further stated that they understand the terms of the current license post, which grants the company exclusivity in operations of the mobile communications industry.
“We understand the terms offered by the current license post and are not seeking for such in the renewal of the license contract. We fully support deregulation of the industry as it is good for the economy. As you open up to more players in industry, it is of benefit mainly to the economy of that country you operate in,” he said.
Mogapi stated that it was a challenge for the country to open up to more operators, and this depended on the size of the market available.
He pointed out that they were open to competition as it would help in developing their products and services, hence satisfying their customers.
“It is really not for us to say if the country needs another operator but for government and interested parties in the industry. Actually it is the size of the market that determines if more operators are welcome or not but we really do not support exclusivity,” the CEO said.
On the other hand, Mogapi stated that they had resolved the issue of lease costs with the Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC).
He mentioned that he could easily say they were in good terms with his SPTC counterpart, Nathi Dlamini (MD).
“I can safely say the two companies have good business relations as we have also resolved the issue that made headlines recently, that of lease costs. We can sit and discuss business as businesspeople,” he added.
He stressed that the company had ensured good relations with all stakeholders
26 July 2007
Mondi Forest burning
BY ZWELIHLE SUKATI
PIGG’S PEAK – A raging fire, which started on Tuesday morning, has caused extensive destruction at Mondi Forest Company in Pigg’s Peak.
By yesterday afternoon, fire fighters from Mondi South Africa had joined forces with their local counterparts, whose efforts had proved ineffective despite that they had sought the assistance of the Swaziland National Fire and Emergency Services.
Four helicopters from South Africa were desperately fighting the fire yesterday with little success.
Thulani Mavuso, a supervisor of the Harvesting Department, said all sections of the Mondi Forest Company had to cease operations as employees had to be deployed in the many forest sections to put out the fire.
“The fire started at around 9am on Tuesday and after the workers in the forest department failed to put it out, all the other sections were then deployed to the forest for assistance,” Mavuso said. The employees failed to put out the fire, and a decision was taken to call the National Fire and Emergency Services. But this was a bit late, as the fire had, aided by the wind, moved to the D3 and D4 sections of the forest. “The National Fire and Emergency Services were called in the afternoon and by then the whole of the D3 forest had been burned down,” Mavuso explained. John Mamba, who was also at the fire scene, said: “The company had no alternative, but to rope in its entire staff, including the subcontracted departments, due to the magnitude of the fire. As you can see the thick smoke over the hills, the D4 section has also caught fire.” A number of the firefighters at the scene said they expected the fire to continue for a number of days before it could be put out. Asked as to what exactly was the source of the fire, none of them seemed to know for a fact, but could only speculate.
24 July 2007
We thrive on corruption - MP
By Bheki Gama
NGWEMPISI Member of Parliament (MP) has come out to publicly declare that Swazis thrive on corruption.
Vulindlela Msibi was addressing a meeting convened by the Co-ordinating Assembly of Non-governmental Organisations (CANGO) where he was one of four panelists last Thursday at the Mbabane Theatre Club.
“We are corrupt,” Msibi announced much to the cheers of his audience. “We should distribute wealth correctly,” he added, further emphasising that the country could afford spending on the elderly, but its spending priorities were misguided.
“On Social Security, the country can afford, however, all the money is diverted to personal bank accounts because we are corrupt. The country is corrupt,” he said. The MP stated that the country could afford to offer the elderly more than the E100 it currently pays them as grants.
In a separate interview yesterday, MP Msibi said Minister of Finance Majozi Sithole was on record having declared that the country was losing about E40 million a month through corruption.
“I personally conducted my own research and discovered that E60 million was lost through the scourge,” he said, mentioning that the money ended up in the pockets of only a few individuals.
“I am convinced that corruption is thriving in every sphere of our society,” the MP observed, mentioning that if all coffers could be channeled appropriately through fair distribution of wealth, the elderly could be paid far more and the country could reap immeasurable economic rewards.
Msibi also said health motivators (bagcugcuteli) would be paid more than the E100 they were currently getting from government. “Health motivators are doing a great job for the country and even risk their lives. They deserve to be paid better,” he noted.
MP Msibi was reacting to concerns raised by Mbabane Councillor Jabulani Nxumalo who wished to know what parliament was doing to fast track the establishment of a ‘National Social Security Scheme’, which he said would help settle rates on behalf of members of society who were financially disadvantaged so that they did not lose their properties. Nxumalo reminded the gathering that such a scheme formed part of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) popular 27 demands. The councillor was of the view that municipalities should not only rely on rates to function. He said local governments should get something from things like traffic fines and trading licence fees from establishments operating within towns and cities.
Further, he said the national Constitution gave councillors a five-year term and wished to know what would become of those who would be elected this September.
The meeting was to garner support for women in the coming municipal elections. Other panelists were Matsapha Town Clerk Gciniwe Fakudze, Ngwenya Town Board Chairperson Lungile Mamba and Melusi Hlandze from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
Both Fakudze and Mamba spoke about their experiences as part of male dominated town management teams. Fakudze explained the challenges she faced having to deal with a male dominated boardroom where she said decisions were taken long before meetings were convened.
She said men tended to discuss and agree on issues in social gatherings like sports and would go inside a boardroom already holding a collective position. Mamba also discussed her experiences as the ultimate authority of a town.
“We should empower and encourage the participation of women in all structures,” MP Msibi pleaded. He mentioned that he wished Minister of Housing and Urban Development Mabili Dlamini could appoint those who belonged to less represented segments of society, which included women and the physically challenged.
Said Msibi (sic): “Given the opportunity in the increasingly corrupt society, women leadership is the answer and could provide a beacon of hope in providing a model of good governance at local and national level, which would improve living standards of the downtrodden masses.”
Further, he said Minister Dlamini should consider reviewing the package for councilors in order to attract the best brains. He said the present package was not attractive at all.
24 July 2007
23 July 2007
King calls for agric research institute
By Timothy Simelane
HIS Majesty King Mswati III has called for a research institute that will analyse locally produced commodities and further determine the probability of its success in the international market.
His Majesty said one specialty of such a research would be the prospects of turning cow dung to marketable manure for sale to farmers.
He said there were plenty of products farmers could derive from cattle instead of focusing on only milk and meat.
“The cow dung we sometimes use as manure could be developed further and be prepared for sale in the market. Such are the things that could be done by a research institute, which we need in the country,” he said.
The King was addressing delegates in one of the group discussions at Mavuso Exhibition and Trade Centre during the second day of the National Agriculture Summit.
His Majesty said farming was an industry that required attention and should be handled with care if farmers wanted to reap its produce. “We need a research institute because if we run roughshod to implement things without it, there are more chances of failure.”
From a cow, His Majesty said people could get meat, milk, manure and leather from its skin while the horns could be used for many purposes.
Similarly, in the forestry industry, His Majesty said there were many products that could be reaped.
“Since it is known that these trees take 16 to 25 years to mature and yield profits, the farmer then has a challenge to do something else in the meantime. Reality is such that he has a family to support and a child born when the trees were planted would have finished school before these are harvested.
The farmer, therefore, has many options such as reaping mushrooms that grow under the trees or harnessing the honey found in thick forests to generate income whilst waiting for the harvest of the pulp.”
In his many ideas, the King also advised farmers and delegates to ensure their produce was of a high quality standard to compete well in international markets.
He said the upcoming World Trade Organisation (WTO) principle that removes preferential trade areas would impact negatively on sub-Saharan states.
“All farmers will now be required to compete with those from developed states for markets abroad,” he said.
23 July 2007
Warders’ union boss
BY MAKHOSI MAGONGO
MANZINI – A Disciplinary Committee of His
Majesty’s Correctional Services cited a verse in
the Holy Bible as they recommended that Bongani
Gumede, a Priest and Welfare Officer stationed
at Mdutshane Juvenile facility, should be fired.
The Disciplinary Committee found Gumede guilty
of allegedly disobeying a lawful order, in that
he failed to attend a work-related meeting, in
preference of a union hearing at the High Court.
Gumede is the Deputy Chairperson of the Warders’
Union and the charge was preferred against him
at the wake of similar hearings that also ended
up in dismissals of two officers employed by the
Royal Swaziland Police Service.
They are police Union
Chairperson Buhle Dlamini and Intelligence
Officer Phinda Dlamini (dismissed for refusing
to submit a falsified list of police union
members), who have both filed appeals against
their dismissal to the office of the Prime
Gumede’s three-week long hearing ended on
Thursday morning, where he was informed that he
had been found guilty of the alleged misconduct.
Correctional Services Assistant Public Relations
Officer Nomkhosi Maseko confirmed that the
committee had found Gumede guilty.
“It was just an internal hearing and that was
not the final verdict, it is just a
recommendation. The Commissioner (Mnguni
Simelane) is yet to review the case and consider
the recommendation. Therefore, the
recommendation is not final,” she said on
The Times SUNDAY tracked Gumede on Thursday and
he confirmed the recommendation. “I am on my way
home to report the news before they learn about
it from other people,” he said.
He confirmed that the chairman of the committee
had quoted a verse from the book of Mathew 4:
13, which reads: “Ye are the salt of the earth:
but if the salt has lost its savour, wherewith
shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for
nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden
under foot of men.”(Source: WebOnline bible)
Gumede said his conscience was clear about the
alleged charge preferred against him,
reaffirming that he had alerted one of his
supervisors that he would not make it to the
In mitigation, before the announcement of the
recommendation to have him fired, Gumede said he
was a first offender and that he had three
dependants who would suffer, should he lose his
source of livelihood. He also stated that he was
currently pursuing his studies at the University
of Swaziland. However, the committee allegedly
noted that Gumede had been disrespectful during
the proceedings in that at one point he went to
the men’s room without seeking permission.
If the commissioner approves the dismissal,
Gumede has an option to appeal to the minister
of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, who is
the political head of the Correctional Services.
However, if it is reversed, he might get away
with a fine, as stipulated by the Prison Act.
During the hearing, Gumede was represented by an
attorney from PM Shilubane and Associates, while
Bongani Khumalo was the prosecutor. Khumalo, a
UNISWA Law graduate, was transferred from
Nhlangano to the Correctional Headquarters
By Thursday, Gumede’s ‘comrades’ were already
aware and they condemned the recommendation.
“What is a surprise to us that the Chaplain, who
had no prior record for an offence since he was
employed, could be dismissed even without a
warning,” said Thokozani Mazibuko, the Secretary
General of the union.
He said the whole membership would hold a
meeting today at Ilanga Centre, where they would
discuss the issue at length.
Other union members also expressed concern on
the decision to institute disciplinary
proceedings against Gumede when some of his
colleagues at Mdutshane had committed other
serious offences but no action was taken against
“There was an officer (name withheld) who
disappeared from work for 10 days without
informing anyone but nothing was said about his
case despite that everyone knew he went
drinking. Another officer (name also known) came
to work so drunk that he smashed the window to
the officer in charge’s office.
“Our suspicion, therefore is that the assistant
chairperson was victimised for being part of the
union,” said a union member, who wishes not to
The spokesperson of the institution did not wish
to comment about the allegations. She said she
would consult with the relevant officers and get
back with a response. “I should locate the
responsible officers first,” she said.
22 July 2007
CORRUPTION - US EXPERT
Stories by Fanyana
"Since all things are tied to a country's Constitution, which
becomes the Supreme Law of any country,
it is then fairly plausible to conclude that it is the same
Constitution that enables corruption to thrive in any country,
Swaziland included." This is the view of Robert Cerasoli, a
specialist in the area of corruption in the United States.
Cerasoli was in the country courtesy of the American
Embassy which hosted him. He made presentations to business
people, law practitioners, civil society and government
officials, and yesterday he held a press briefing at the
American Cultural Centre in Mbabane, where local journalists
asked him questions pertaining to the scourge of corruption.
Cerasoli observed that also, the country's Constitution was
just too long, which made it difficult for it to be amended,
in a bid to give more muscle to an Anti-Corruption
Commissioner, who is yet to be appointed.
Cerasoli, in his brief to journalists stated that he had
heard that corruption was rampant in the country, but stressed
that this scourge affected almost every country in the world,
the only difference between countries was the degree and
extent of which it ran.
"Corruption is neither need nor greed based, but
opportunity based. Where there is an opportunity to be
corrupt, people will always be corrupt, which is why society
should shut those doors of corruption. People can stop being
corrupt when they know that they will be punished for it. But
if they know that they will not, they will make use of that
opportunity," he said.
He continued that the key point was to ensure that everyone
should be accountable for their actions.
"As long as there are people who are above the law, then
you will have serious problems, as they will take advantage of
the fact that they are untouchable," he said.
He continued that he had heard that there was an
Anti-Corruption Commission in the country, which still lacked
a commissioner, observing that from what he had heard in his
short stay, the commissioner will just be there in paper, but
will have no teeth.
"You have to ensure that the commission along with its head
have real teeth, and that would start by amending the
Constitution to give the Commissioner the working tools and
powers to investigate without fear. As I said before, I do not
see that happening because your Constitution is way too long
and to amend it would pose serious problems. As it is, it is
just unamendable. Good Constitutions are usually not more than
20 pages long. This makes it easier to amend it as society
moved with the times,' he said.
He said in his country, Commissioners, who are called
Inspector Generals, had all the powers and normally used a
formulae called following the money, or paper trail.
"With such unbounded powers, they follow the money from
where it left right up to where it landed. In most cases, they
come out victorious and ensure convictions in court. With the
current status quo in your country, I do not see that
happening easily." he said.
Cerasoli observed that currently, the media was playing the
commissioner's role in the country by exposing corruption
wherever it may be, but without the will, political or
otherwise, cunning people normally waited with bated breath
until an issue subsides from the papers, and then begin where
He said with the present scenario, even if an expert
corruption buster could be found for the country, he would
soon become a paper tiger who would enjoy his salary, while
rats continued feeding illegally from the national treasure
"He may have the vim and vigour while still new, but he
would soon learn that the wisest thing was to make his money
by not upsetting anyone, and that is not the way it should be
if a people are serious about eliminating corruption."
He closed by stating that the E52 million capacity Building
money that was squandered could have been easily sorted out
back home and the money would have been found.
"By any standards, that was a lot of money. Back home the
method of following the money or the paper trail, the culprits
would have been found and the money recovered. There was a
point of departure and arrival for the money, and by closely
following the paper trail, commissioners would have been led
from where it departed until where it ended sweeping clean
wherever they passed,' he said.
22 July 2007
Govt. looking for
BY MAKHOSI MAGONGO
MBABANE – An expatriate or foreigner may be ap-pointed to serve
as a Commissioner of the re-launched AntiCorruption Unit.
The indication arises from government’s move
to embark on a worldwide search for suitable candidates to
elevate the country to a corruption free state.
Advertisements for the vacancies were posted with Africa’s
well-known newspaper, the Mail & Guardian, at a cost believed to
be no less than E25 400.
Another was placed with The Economist, which circulates in all
continents and is considered a publication for the affluent.
Some multinational companies, multilateral organizations and
leading academic institutions also advertise their vacancies
with The Economist.
The circulation of the advertisements for the posts of
Commissioner; Deputy Commissioner-Investigations and Asset
Recovery; and Deputy Commissioner-Administration, started at the
beginning of the month and the recruiting authority is the
Judicial Services Commission.
The advert states: “In order to re-launch and operationalize the
commission, the under noted positions are deemed to be crucial.”
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and
Constitutional Affairs Sicelo Dlamini confirmed they had cast
their net wide in search for suitable candidates.
“We placed one with the Mail and Guardian, which is a regional
newspaper and another in The Economist because it is found
worldwide. Go to Singapore, Japan, New York, you can find it,”
said Dlamini, who is also Secretary of the Judicial Services
Commission. According to the advert, the individuals to be
appointed into the positions may hold office for a period of not
more than five years and may be reappointed for a single term.
For a position of commissioner, the individual to be appointed
should have, among attributes, qualification to be a Judge of
the High Court of Swaziland, while the two deputies are expected
to be graduates from recognised Universities and have at least
10 years relevant experience in senior level management.
There is also an indication that the Deputy Commissioner –
Administration may be a local candidate as the post was only
advertised in the local press. The individual to be appointed
will be responsible for general office administration, while the
Deputy Commissioner – Investigations and Asset Recovery would be
responsible for the core function of the commission.
The terms of employment are such that the candidate shall hold
office for a period of not more than five years and may be
appointed for a single year.
The deadline for the local applicants was Thursday July 18, 2006
while those from abroad have until July 27, 2007 to submit the
The precise package for the commissioners is still not known,
however the advert indicates that government is offering a
“market related salary commensurate with the job benefits”,
which include an inducement allowance, commuted car allowance
and house benefit.
The operationalization of the Commission comes after the
Prevention of Corruption Act 2007 was approved by Parliament,
and assented to, by His Majesty King Mswati III. The Commission
is established and empowered by this legislation.
However it is not the first time government had watchdog
institution of this nature. The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) was
first established in 1998, but it failed to deliver a single
indictment. This was partly because legislation giving powers to
the unit had not been enacted. It had a director in the late
The operationalization of the commission is being prepared
against a background of millions in Emalangeni of taxpayer’s
money lost through Corruption. This was also disclosed by
Finance Minister, Majozi Sithole, who said a consultant, had
found that government was losing more than E40 million (US$6.5
million) per month through corruption.
“Some highly placed individuals connive with government
officials to inflate contracts, or even make government pay for
services that were never rendered. The playground for corruption
is in goods and services, as well as in construction projects,”
he once noted.
18 July 2007
SUB feeds the nation
By Bongile Mavuso
Bakeries has pledged
its commitment towards
the development and
well- being of
in the Shiselweni
This is further to the
project, SUB Feeding
Scheme, launched last
week at Pigg’s Peak.
bread to two schools,
Ebenezar and Hlatikulu
where the teachers are
expected to distribute
it to pupils whom they
see fit to benefit.
SUB Marketing Manager
Bheki Mkhonta said
this was their way of
ploughing back to
communities as the
children are their
future clients and
“The country has
over 1.1 million
people and about 160
000 tonnes of maize
are used as stable
food by the people. As
the drought situation
hit the country, over
410 000 people need
food urgently and more
than a half of this
It is for this reason
that we have decided
on lending a hand to
feeding the children.
We believe this will
go a long way in
assisting them at
school as it is
concentrate in an
empty stomach,” he
He stated that as
they feed the
children, they were
feeding the nation,
under the slogan ‘We
feed the nation. You
feed the child.’
Head Teacher Solomon
Magagula said his
school was facing a
challenge in dealing
with the issue of OVC,
as there is quite a
number of them.
“Over 650 pupils
are registered at the
school and 175 of them
are officially catered
for under government’s
OVC scheme. However
there is still a large
number of needy
children who cannot
all be accommodated in
the scheme. We are
grateful to SUB for
the kind of help they
have offered to our
All pupils at the
school (Ebenezar) will
receive bread on
Fridays whilst at
only 58 pupils will
benefit. SUB gives
each school a dozen of
bread per week and
hopes to increase the
number after the
pilot. Mkhonta stated
that this was an
addition to other
programmes the company
had with the country’s
like the internship
programme with the
Swaziland and the
school fees programme.
Mkhonta said this
would be a pilot
project to be
implemented in two
regions, Hhohho (Pigg’s
Peak) and Shiselweni (Mtsambama)
He commended His
Majesty King Mswati
III and government for
the concerted efforts
towards ensuring the
enrollment of OVCs in
concerned about the
condition of these
children in schools
and an assessment was
carried to the
realisation that some
of these children have
their only meal a day
We realise the
importance of reaching
out to these children
in order to ensure
that they perform to
their maximum ability.
SUB believes that
fundamental for the
development of these
children into better
citizens of tomorrow,”
He said the company
wanted to eliminate
this barrier to
education so that even
the disadvantaged were
able to concentrate in
class and actively
“The programme will
be rolled out over two
months after which the
company shall evaluate
it with schools as
well as communities
and work out a
strategy for the third
At SUB, we believe
that a country that
does not invest in
children has no
future. We believe
that feeding children
is like feeding the
nation,” he stated.
He stressed that
the project would be
rolled out with
18 July 2007
buys wife out for E219 000
MBABANE- Businessman Oscar Wilmer
has bought out his wife Gloria
Matse-bula from Shonalanga Funeral
As a result they
have agreed that Matsebula be paid
E219 000 as part of her shares.
This is the businessman who had to
stagger and at times crawl from his
home to a nearby hotel after he was
brutally hacked on the head
allegedly by Matsebula. Matsebula
was later arrested in connection
with the crime and is presently
awaiting trial after being released
The High Court has endorsed the
agreement between the two as an
order of the court.
“It is agreed that the parties shall
sign a sale of shares agreement in
respect of which the applicant sells
to the respondent in this
representative capacity 20 percent
of the issued share capital of the
business, currently registered in
the name of the applicant,” reads
the agreement dated July 10, 2007.
The matter appeared before Justice
It has been stated that Matsebula
will receive the above-mentioned
amount, which has been divided into
A sum of E138 000 in cash; it has
been agreed will be paid out from
the business account while E52 000,
which presently kept in the custody
of the police, will also be paid to
The balance of E29 000 will be a
motor vehicle, Mitsubishi RVR to be
retained by Matsebula, which is
already in her possession.
It has also been agreed that
Matsebula will facilitate for full
payment and the transfer of the
trading licence for her name into
the name of the company upon signing
the memorandum of understanding.
“Applicant (Matsebula) agrees that
upon concluding the agreement of the
sale of shares she shall cease to be
associated with the business or
claim title in respect thereof in
any manner whatsoever and shall not
use the name IGHO or Shonalanga in
any future dealings,” further reads
It has been stated that if any parts
fails to comply with the order
within 14 days the other may
institute further legal proceedings
to enforce the provisions of the
agreement. In the matter Wilmer was
represented by Attorney Zweli
Shabangu while Abdul Mohammed
16 July 2007
THE Swaziland cane-cutting
team was the overall winner of
the international cane-cutting
competition held at the
Xinavane Sugar Estate in
Mozambique on Wednesday.
Swaziland beat last year’s
winners, Zimbabwe, to second
spot. Mozambique came third,
whilst South was last on
All six locals who were
competing made it to the top
Mfanawendlela Sifundza was
crowned champion, followed by
another local June
The competition was 250km
east of Maputo. It was evident
from the results that the
standards of Swazi
cane-cutting were among the
best in the world.
Contributing to the success
of the local team are
dedicated and experienced
Participating in previous
competitions has also helped
the locals to improve their
Mandla Mavuso, Chairman of
the local competition
organising committee, was
happy for the locals’
Meanwhile, local champion
Jabulani Khulu got position
Also beaten for the first
spot was Khulu’s runner up, in
the local competition, Justice
Mamba who got position seven.
Khulu was however not
concerned about coming sixth.
A source quoted him saying
he had not gone to Mozambique
to compete for first position,
but his goal was for Swaziland
to get first position and
reclaim their trophy from
Accompanying the team of
cane-cutters to Mozambique
were local business people in
the cane-cutting industry.
Carol Sibandze of Leni
Investments, a company dealing
with supplying cane-cutting
gear, was among those who
accompanied the team.
As the cane-cutting went
on, Sibandze was busy making
business deals with sugar
company representatives from
Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
“I currently have
possibilities in both
Mozambique and Zimbabwe. They
are not very big yet, but we
are looking forward to
striking gold soon,” she said.
There are huge
possibilities that local
business people can utilise.
One of the Mozambican managers
revealed that they were
willing to work with local
suppliers as they did not have
any in their country. Some
Swazi business people said
they also considered venturing
cane-cutting in Mozambique.
This would be a win-win
situation for all as the
locals would bring with them
expertise, experience and high
quality cane cutting.
On another note, Minister
of Enterprise and Employment
Lutfo Dlamini could not make
it to the competition.
Dlamini was very
instrumental in organising
local winner Jabulani Khulu’s
prize, a mini-bus. There is no
doubt, however, that he will
be happy to see the Swazi team
bringing back their trophy.
The minister is indeed a
champion to the cane-cutters
for his dedication to the
upliftment and recognition of
Dlamini earlier revealed
that it was his dream to see
people rising above cane
cutting and making it big in
16 July 2007
dlamini tries to attach ABSA
BY NATHI GULE
MBABANE –ABSA Bank on Friday stopped a
bid by Dumisa Dlamini to strip goods
worth about E95 million after he had
obtained a court order to that effect.
This is the latest
chapter in the businessman’s bid to
recover his multi-millions he claims
were wrongfully taken from him.
According to the Saturday Star, ABSA
Bank’s headquarters in Jo’burg and many
of its branches nationwide were due to
be stripped of furniture, computers and
movable goods worth nearly E95-million,
according to an order of the Pretoria
High Court. But the bank hit back,
turning Jo’burg Deputy Sheriff André
Bormann away with its own court order
declaring former sugar magnate Dumisa
Dlamini had no legal standing to bring
court actions against Absa because he
was an ‘unrehabilitated insolvent’.
It is said the court had ordered that
three writs of execution totalling
E94.8-million be served against Absa’s
Absa Towers headquarters at 160 Main
Street; that the movable goods be taken
to ‘a place of safety’; and that they
then be sold at public auction to raise
the money owed to Dlamini.
Dlamini in a previous interview with the
newspaper stated that he would not rest
until ‘justice was done.’
He said he was defrauded over E600
million in investments while in South
Africa since he arrived in the early
12 July 2007
THE Swaziland Sugar Association has
found a new market for brown sugar in
the EU market.
Even though not wanting to divulge how
much the association was being paid
for the sugar or how much they
exported, SSA Chief Executive Officer
Mike Matsebula said they were being
paid a very good price.
He stated, however, that the market
was still very small and was for their
new brown sugar product known as Very
High Polarisation (VHP) sugar.
Matsebula said in the past, they
mostly exported raw sugar to be
refined in Europe.
“But what we have been doing is to
improve the quality of the sugar to
VHP. This is a direct consumption
sugar. It’s a relatively new product.
But the market is very small and
requires us to sell smartly because we
don’t want to flood the market thus
cut down the price. We want to be a
reliable supplier,” he said.
The CEO added that they expected
the relationship with their new-found
market to go a long way.
He explained that there was
actually a bright future for Swazi
“However, the trick is in making
sure that it’s made sustainable and
profitable,” he said, adding that this
was one of the reasons they would be
hosting the National Sugar Conference
on July 25. Nine speakers, including
eight international experts, are
expected to attend.
Matsebula said they were hoping
these speakers would give them tips on
how to ensure sustainability and
profitability of the Swazi sugar
“The speakers will tell us how we
can make money. In the past, we were
focusing on raw sugar and the price we
were getting is rock bottom. Now we
are saying we want to explore other
sugar types,” he said.
He said there were several types of
sugar, which include raw, brown sugar
for direct consumption, VHP (which is
taken through another production
process in Swaziland to remove certain
elements so that it’s a light brown)
and refined sugar (white).
He added that they also wanted to
explore how they could use sugar in
electricity development as well as in
the production of bio-fuels.
Matsebula said already, some
companies were producing ethanol from
sugar products as part of the
ingredients in the production of fuel.
The Simunye sugar mill, for example,
is already doing an experiment in fuel
production. Also, USA Distillers has
been producing ethanol from molasses,
which is a sugar by-product.
12 July 2007
scare almost stops reed-cutting
LOFOKATI - A crocodile scare almost
brought the cutting of the reed to a
About 100 members of
the Lutsango regiment opted to take no
chances and watched from afar, staying
away from the cutting site.
The area is swampy, with water about a
knee high. It also has clay, the reed
grows in the swamp.
The women believed that a crocodile
might be there because they believe it
lives in swampy areas as well.
Residents of Lofokati had told the
regiment that they had seen a crocodile,
the previous day sending fear to the
thousands of women who had woken up to
cut the reed next to a river.
The police and male leaders took some
time in the suspected pond searching for
They did not find it but only saw its
‘footprints’ along the cutting site.
“The prints are fresh, it looks like it
was here but we have searched thoroughly
and we will make sure the regiment is
safe,” said Mfokati Dlamini of
Regiment leaders and police officers had
to lead the way into the cutting site ‘esidzidzini’.
Police assured them that crocodiles did
not feed in winter, so even if it was
there it would not have attacked them.
Some of the regiment defied an order to
go back into the swamp to cut more reed
by their leader, Ayllene Dlamini.
She had announced that the women should
go back into the swamp to cut more reed
for the many tourists who had come to
watch the whole ceremony.
This year alone there have been about
five crocodile attacks in the Lubombo
Region that claimed three lives.
11 July 2007
D1 Oils is strengthening its
relations with international
partners in an effort to speed up
the electricity production
process, through bio- mass, for
rural areas in the country.
One of their partners Helius
Energy has assured that the
project has a potential where the
rural communities would produce it
at cheaper costs.
On the other hand, the company
has secured partnership with Sir
Bob Geldof, who is in the country
on a private visit to D1 Oils. He
is set to visit all D1 Oils farms
to see the project on the Jatropha
plant, which he said had been a
deserted and unnoticed plant in
many African countries.
Geldof said the rural
communities could benefit
immensely from the project as they
could generate income as well as
cheaper electricity from biomass.
He stated that his major
interest in the project was to
ensure job creation among the
rural people and the
self-generation of power through
Helius Energy Chairperson Alex
Worrall said bio fuels were a
cheaper source of power production
and this can work for Swazis.
He stated that having the
community grow Jatropha plants on
their own land and use the
remainder of the product to
produce ethanol and power would
work as an economic advantage for
the rural communities.
“People in the rural areas own
the land and the Jatropha plants
from which nuts and bio mass
material can be obtained. Out of
the bio- mass electricity may be
produced at cheaper costs. So this
is an advantage to them as their
property would be generating
income for them, as well as have
electricity power cheaper,” he
He stated that they had
discussed the possibility of power
production with the Swaziland
Electricity Board (SEB) managers,
who supported the idea.
He said networks can be built
on the current SEB power supply
D1 Oils Director Gaetang Ning
said they currently have six farms
in the country, four in the
Shiselweni region (with the main
one at Hluti), Crydon and at the
table mountain (behind Green
He said the company initiated a
project with the communities where
they grow the Jatropha plants and
sell them to D1 Oils for
The plants take about three
months to mature for harvesting.
Worrall said the challenge is
to get the people to understand
the concept of electricity
generation from bio-fuels, both as
a source of cheaper electricity as
well as economic gain for them.
The Helius Energy has been
involved in a United Kingdom
integrated bio-energy project,
situated at the Port of
Immigration on the Humber River.
This project generates 65 MWe
of renewable energy, sufficient
for about 120 000 of UK homes. It
uses 350 000 dry tonnes biomass as
fuel, mainly wood, spent grains
and oilseed cake.
The project produces 350 000
tonnes per year of liquid biofuels,
saving 1 million tonnes of carbon
dioxide emissions per year.
11 July 2007
Poverty activist Bob
Geldof in SD
BY ZWELAKHE MOAHLOLI
MATSAPHA – Well known musician and poverty
activist Sir Bob Geldof would like to perform in
Sir Geldof is best known for
organising the 1985 Live Aid Benefit Concert for
starving African children – inspired by the 1984
BBC documentary about famine in Ethiopia.
Bob Geldof also recently put together new
concerts to pressure wealthy governments to come
to the aid of impoverished people.
In an interview yesterday on arrival at the
Matsapha International Airport, Geldof said even
though he had not thought about staging a
concert in the country, it would be fun to play
“It would be fun to play – we have played in
South Africa a couple of times, and we would be
coming back, we will play in April of next year.
So maybe it’s possible – I suppose I should play
in Swaziland sometime,” Sir Geldof said while
laughing at the idea.
Other international artists that performed in
the country under the auspices of charity
include guitarist, Eric Clapton Joanna
Sir Geldof is in the country courtesy to D1 Oil,
and he is expected to return to England tonight.
He landed at the Matsapha International on board
a chartered helicopter about two hours later
than his scheduled time. He was met at the
airport by the local director of D1 Oil, Gaetan
He was accompanied by founders of D1 oil and
Helius Energy, a company listed on the stock
10 July 2007
PUNISH THEM - JIM GAMA
By Winile Mavuso
SPORTS - Ludzidzini Governor Jim Gama has called for the
punishment of athletes who go to compete in international
competitions and fail to win anything.
The Governor was addressing the All Africa Games team, which
had paid a courtesy call to the Royal Residence yesterday.
Bidding farewell to the athletes, Gama asked the Director
of Sports and Culture, Maswazi Shongwe, if there was any
punishment for athletes who failed to bring anything from
He noted that each time the Director’s office sends
athletes to participate in international competitions they
fail to bring any positive results.
Gama wanted to know if such people were punished and if
not, why? “Is there a punishment for the athletes who lose
every time they go to compete outside the country? If not, why
are they not punished? There should a punishment for athletes
who lose as well as a reward for those who win,” he said.
Gama said athletes go to international games, lose and come
back home as if everything was okay.
He urged the athletes to bring good results from the All
Africa Games and further wished them luck. “Discipline is the
major key to success,” he warned the athletes.
He urged them to respect one another, saying people were
going to see the country through them and therefore it was
very important that they conduct themselves in a good way.
“It is our norm as Swazis to pass by the Royal Residence to
get blessings each time we go to war, people have so many
beliefs and ours is that our ancestors will bless and go with
you as you leave for Algeria,” he said.
The team consists of six athletes and the same number of
officials. The athletes were chosen from different sporting
disciplines and include Sports Man of the year boxer Simanga
‘The Boer’ Shiba, who will be accompanied by Swaziland
National Boxing Association (SWABA) President Zakhele Zulu and
Volunteer of the year award winner and coach Samuel
Other athletes are Siphesihle Mdluli (Athletics - H.
Marathon) to be accompanied by Ewart Ndlangamandla and
Thokozani Nhlabatsi (Equestrian) who is accompanied by Zakhele
Dlamini. Other athletes are Makhosini Shabalala
(weightlifting) accompanied by Mbuso Magongo, Thulani Gina
(lawn tennis) accompanied by Dumsani Maphalala and Bheki
Nkambule (Taekwondo) maneged by Zakhele Dlamini.
Fred McFaden, who is Chef de Mission left the country on
Thursday, and will be joined by the team in Algeria today.
Also part of the delegation was Director of Sports and Culture
The games will run from Monday until the 23rd of July. The
team is expected back home on July 25.
10 July 2007
Minimum pension increases to E600
BY INNOCENT MAPHALALA
MBABANE – The minimum monthly pension for retired civil
servants has been increased to E600.
This means that even people who left the
civil service in the lowest rung of the salary ladder will
at least get E600 each month on retirement. Such people
could be cleaners, drivers, switchboard operators, typists
While still active, the lowest paid civil servant earns
about E1 200.
The annuity paid to retired employees depends on the salary
scale of the pensioner at the time of exit from the civil
At least 13 536 current pensioners are expected to benefit
from the increase. All along, the minimum annuity was E500.
This means that it has since been increased by 20 percent.
The Public Service Pensions Fund’s annual report confirms
It also states that all other pensions were increased by 6.5
percent effective April 1, 2006.
Another change was that effective from the same date, all
benefit payments are now being made through direct bank
transfer and not by cheque. This was done to ensure that no
benefits remain unclaimed because of unpresented cheques.
The change will also minimise the risk of fraud. The fund
will publish names of members and dependants who have not
claimed benefits for a specified period to come forward.
5 July 2007
Times Sunday editor faces
By Timothy Simelane
TIMES of Swaziland Sunday Editor Mbongeni Mbingo faces
a maximum two-year jail term if he is eventually found
guilty of contempt of parliament for expressing his
opinion about the affairs of the House of Assembly.
Alternatively, he could just pay a E400 fine. The
House refused to be educated nor corrected on the
right of expression and freedom of the press,
continuing to pass a motion to probe Mbingo for
allegedly saying the Speaker, Prince Guduza, was wrong
to block Mtfongwaneni MP Mfomfo Nkambule from raising
an issue during a parliamentary session last week.
Nkambule had intended to seek explanation from
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Prince
David about the alleged intended amendments to the
Constitution when the speaker said he was out of
order. This prompted the editor to write a comment in
which he criticised the Speaker and House in general
for taking the alleged plot to amend the Constitution
Yesterday, MP Mandlenkhosi Dlamini stood on a point
of privilege to say Mbingo had grossly insulted the
House and Speaker, thus he deserved punishment. He
said parliament should form a select committee that
would probe Mbingo and further recommend punishment.
“The author of this paper says the Speaker refused
to allow the MP to speak about the Constitution,
something that is wrong. This author is ignorant of
parliament rules and procedure, yet he runs roughshod
to criticise us from an uninformed position. If the
Speaker saw that the issue was not urgent, there was
no need for the author to criticise him as he did. The
MP had no right to say an issue was urgent just
because it had appeared in the newspapers,” he said.
Dlamini was supported by Kukhanyeni MP Clement
Dlamini who said the editor should be taken to task
because he had exceeded the limits of freedom of
“The MP (Mfomfo) had an option to file a notice
paper not to bring the issue to parliament as one of
urgency. The Speaker ruled him out of order,” he
Meanwhile, Titus Thwala, Zombodze Emuva MP, warned
his colleagues that probing the newspaper would be
wrong because the editor was exercising his freedom of
expression as enshrined in the national Constitution.
He further said if the Speaker felt insulted, he was
entitled to sue for defamation. Thwala also said it
was disappointing that MPs had failed to wear thick
skins in the four years they had been in office.
“As MPs, we must develop a rhinoceros hide and
internal shock absorbers. We should also not forget
the principles of freedom of expression and the press.
We must play the ball not the man,” he further warned.
On the other hand, Shiselweni 1 MP Vusi Sithole
said MPs should not allow newspapers to insult them.
“Asithandi ukuthukwa ngeyinhlamba.”
MP Mphiwa Dlamini supported the motion to probe the
newspaper, saying if it was not upheld, a bad
precedent would be set.
However, Sithobela MP Patrick Mamba said the motion
should be rejected because it was too petty and
parliament business should not be expended for it.
“There is nothing sinister in the article. Let us
reject the motion,” he suggested.
Patrick Pha Motsa, Mangcongco MP, concurred, saying
the motion should be rejected because there had been
several other articles in the media, all criticising
MPs for one thing or another. He wondered why there
had been no select committees then.
“Just recently, there have been comments about the
health portfolio committee report that was rejected by
the House. No one probed the newspapers.”
Kwaluseni MP Sibusiso Nkambule also agreed, adding
that the motion should be rejected because it sought
to prevent the editor from expressing his opinion.
. . . I’m ready to
go to jail - Editor
TIMES of Swaziland Sunday Editor Mbongeni Mbingo
says he is willing to go to jail for expressing
himself as part of his Constitutional right.
Mbingo said he was flabbergasted at the decision by
parliament to waste tax payers’ money through probing
him. “I’m flabbergasted parliament would waste so much
money on such an issue which is clearly based on
freedom of expression.”
He further said he stood by his story and would
remain so even after the probe had completed its work.
“I’m prepared to stay in jail for expressing my
thoughts,” he added.
Mbingo said his comment was merely based on an
issue that took place in parliament.
The select committee members are:
* Shiselweni MP Enos Vilane
* Zombodze MP Titus Thwala
* MP Mphiwa Dlamini
* Mayiwane MP Vusi Dlamini
* Matsanjeni MP Mlivo Shiba
There was, however, commotion in the House when a
majority of MPs declined appointment into the select
committee. They all made various excuses.
* Maphalaleni MP Siza Dlamini
* Lugongolweni MP Wiseman Ntshingila
* Chief Solani
* Ngwemphisi MP Vulindlela Msibi
* MP Moi Moi Masilela
* Nkhaba MP Thulani Dlamini
* Sigwe MP Mangena Jele
* Sithobela MP Magwebetane Mamba
5 July 2007
Teacher commits suicide after moans from
By Brian Mohammed
VUSWENI - A steamy window and alleged moans from a bedroom are for
now suspected to have resulted to a teacher here committing suicide.
Last Friday 32-year-old Tsembani Ndlovu, a Home
Economics teacher at Vusweni Primary School is said to have knocked
off from school and headed home, which is less than a kilometre from
the school to bake her boyfriend (teacher at the school) a nice
In the evening the boyfriend is said to have visited his lover at
her homestead and spent the night. He also ate the chocolate cake
However, when Saturday afternoon came it was a different story
On Saturday afternoon, Ndlovu decided to visit her boyfriend in his
room at the school’s teachers’ quarters.
Unconfirmed reports have suggested that when she knocked on the door
there was no answer.
She went to her boyfriend’s bedroom window where she was met by a
steamy glass and moans of enjoyment from inside.
It is still unclear what happened after that, but according to
information gathered from Ndlovu’s grandmother Monica Sihlongonyane
she was surprised to be welcomed by her granddaughter’s silky
stocking tied on her hanging body from the neck in the early hours
“On Saturday she had not showed any signs of distress and in the
morning I had gone to wake her up as per her mother’s instruction
but I was shocked to find what she had done,” she said.
She further said on numerous occasions her granddaughter would
complain bitterly about the treatment her boyfriend was giving her.
“I tried talking to her but it seems she was overwhelmed by what she
witnessed at her boyfriend’s house. In her suicide note she
requested that we look after her son Sabelo because she had given up
on life,” she said.
Ndlovu’s death comes barely two days before the release of her
university examination results which were to determine if she would
be graduating later this year or not.
“I was positive that she was going to graduate this year and it is
unfortunate that she decided to take her life because of a love
affair that had gone sour,”Sihlongonyane said.
4 July 2007
TRICKY RULES MAKE: DOCTORS SHUN RAPE
By Timothy Simelane
THE Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) has
registered concerns that medical doctors are reluctant to
attend to rape cases because of the wearisome process of
preserving and presenting evidence before court.
On average, over 300 women and children are raped every year.
SWAGAA said the reluctance of doctors was a setback to
concerted efforts to bring to litigation all rape cases.
The organisation’s National Director, Nonhlanhla Dlamini,
said it had come to SWAGAA’s attention that doctors
deliberately shied away from rape cases for various reasons.
“After the extensive work in attending to victims, the
doctors are then expected to come to court where they have to
submit the evidence and be cross-examined.
Sometimes they shelve important appointments with patients
and rush to court where they are unfortunately made to wait
for hours to be called in. Sometimes the waiting does not pay
off, as the doctors are told the case has been postponed,” she
Dlamini said the case was aggravated by the long and
vigorous cross-examination process doctors were made to go
through during trial.
She said the number of women and girls raped was larger by
far because many rape cases were not reported to SWAGAA,
adding that her organisation was currently engaged in efforts
to tabulate all rape cases.
Government general orders state that only state doctors are
allowed to attend to rape cases.
Dlamini first raised the concern at a workshop to plan a
series of activities as part of the 365 Days of Action Against
Gender-Based Violence held at Orion Hotel in Pigg’s Peak over
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mumcy Dlamini who was
in attendance, said the alleged reluctance was unfortunate,
adding that a united approach was essential to resolve the
She also alluded to the fact that there was currently a
backlog of cases in courts, something that was slowing down
the litigation machinery.
Meanwhile, some private doctors contacted yesterday agreed
that presenting evidence in court was becoming tedious, given
the long hours of waiting involved.
“Any doctor is justified to avoid waiting in benches
outside court at the expense of the lives of his/her numerous
clients,” said a Mbabane medical practitioner who declined to
be named. On the other hand, the SWAGAA director also said the
distance between police stations and hospitals was a deterrent
for rape survivors to report cases.
“If a woman has been raped, she does not take a bath and
has to travel all the way to the police station to report.
From there, she also has to travel all the way to hospital for
treatment. In all these incidents, she has not taken a bath.
This is one way in which we lose the victims because they
sometimes feel it is not worth it to go through all this
trouble, so they just decide to drop the case,” she said.
Health Principal Secretary Nomathemba Dlamini was
consistently said to be in meetings when efforts were made to
contact her. When further efforts were made to contact the
under secretary, his personal secretary refused to entertain
this newspaper, saying there was a memorandum barring the
under secretary from speaking to the media.
Mbabane Government Hospital’s senior medical officer could
also not be reached as the new memorandum prevents her from
talking to the media as well.