Swazi Observer

28 September 2007

HIV, AIDS to blame
by Timothy Simelane

HIV and AIDS was cited as one of the contributing factors to the decline in population, National Director of the National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS (NERCHA) Derek von Wissell said.
von Wissell also said one of the factors could be a decline in the birth rate.

“There are a number of deaths due to HIV and AIDS. You will also recall that the Demographic Health Survey said there was an increase in child mortality rate,” he said.

The director said the decline in population should not be misconstrued to mean a relief on the number of people to be cared for.

He said it was a fact that poverty was on the increase.

Meanwhile, Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Rev Muntu Dlamini said there was a trend of families preferring to have no more than two children.

“In the past, families used to have more, and there was no problem with that. The new crop of families wants to have only a few children.

Dlamini also cited high infant mortality and a decline in fertility as some of the probable contributors.

He however, said a detailed report to be released next year would carry all the reasons for the change in population.


Swazi Times

28 September 2007

Only 953 000 people in SD


MBABANE – There are still less than one million people in Swaziland. It was announced yesterday that provisional results showed that the total population of Swaziland was now 953 524 people.

Releasing the 2007 Swaziland Population and housing Census provisional results, Minister Reverend Absalom Muntu Dlamini told a press conference that the results show that having too many children is now out of fashion.

The Economic Planning and Urban Development Minister said yesterday that the generations that believed in having many children were fading into history.

He was responding to questions from journalists at a press conference to announce the census results.

The question was why the kingdom’s population seemed to be growing at a slow pace.

In 1997, the total population was 929 718 people.

Ten years later, the population has still not reached the million mark.

Rev. Dlamini said the generation before his believed in having up to 15 children per family.

His generation wanted a maximum of five children while the present breed of parents believes in only one or two children.

The minister explained that it was important to note that the results presented were only provisional.

“These results are based only on the summary prepared by the interviewers and, therefore, may differ from the final results, which come from tabulations based on all the information contained in the questionnaires,” he said.

“The 2007 census was a de jure census.

“That is, it was designed to enumerate and collect information from permanent members of a household, present or absent during the census night. This population is 953 524 persons.” He said the de facto population was also enumerated by the 2007 census.

It includes the permanent residents of households and visitors during the census night but excludes permanent household members who spent the census night elsewhere.

At least 912 229 persons spent this night of May 11, 2007 at home.

According to the minister, the previous census conducted in 1997 was on a de facto basis and counted 927 718 persons living in the country.

Swazi Observer

26 September 2007


Profitable times for maize farmers
By Phila Dlamini

CHIEF Executive Officer of the National Maize Corporation (NMC) Sifiso Nyoni says it is high time the country considers farming maize on a larger scale under irrigation, as was the case with sugar cane.

This, he said, would help a lot in pushing the country towards food security. Nyoni was speaking during the presentation of prizes to the ministry of agriculture for the National Maize Competition scheduled for today.
"The maize shortage situation in the country is quite serious. For this year, we have only been able to buy only 304 tonnes of maize from farmers and this is too little, considering that last season we were able to buy 14 000 tonnes.

"The regions of Shiselweni and Hhohho are generally our biggest producers, yet we have not received any maize under the Hhohho region as yet," said Nyoni.

He added that it was a challenge, therefore, for all involved in farming and development to help rehabilitate local farmers. Nyoni also said the price of maize had resulted in very high prices for mealie meal, thus farming maize under irrigation would help a lot, as it did not seem the price of maize would come down soon.

good time

Despite the drought, the NMC CEO said it was a good time for maize farmers as the price was very much higher than normally. "This year, we are buying a tonne of maize at E1 713 whilst last year's price was E1 142, rising up from around E972 in previous years. This should be a challenge for farmers to produce more," he said.

Meanwhile, Director of Agriculture George Ndlangamandla said farmers should not fear investing their inputs in maize production, as the price would not fall any time soon.

"The maize price will stay up for a while because the surpluses that had flooded into world markets by the United States (the world's biggest producer) are now being channelled into the production of bio-fuels," he observed.

Ndlangamandla then urged farmers to learn the economic principles of demand and supply as this would help them know which seasons were best for realising more profits.

Christopher Nkwanyana, acting PS in the ministry of agriculture, said the private sector and government should work together to push the agriculture sector forward as it was the core of the economy.

"All world economies have agriculture as their backbone, therefore, we need to work towards building ours as well," said Nkwanyana.

Furthermore, he said it was critical that the recommendations made by farmers during the National Agriculture Summit be implemented.


Swazi Times

26 September 2007


Bid to have 50 percent women in Parliament


LOBAMBA – The Standing Committee on the Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (RWPC) is currently engaged in an ebullient lobbying exercise for 50 percent of women representation in next year’s general election.

Honourable Maria De Lourdes Veiga, in her address during a meeting with both Senate President Gelane Zwane and Deputy Speaker Trusty Gina, said the percentage of women in higher decision-making positions should increase with effect from next year.

Veiga, during the meeting held at the Parliament conference room yesterday, said time had come for women to serve in high-ranking positions of power in government.

“In as much as we appreciate that your government has set a 30 percent target in as far as women representation during 2008 general election, but we feel the figures should be increased to 50 percent,” she said.

“We’re here to lobby for the appointment of women in decision-making positions in government.”

She stressed that women should be appointed into other high-ranking positions of power apart from Parliament.

Senate President Zwane, in response, said she was appreciative of the serious lobbying by the Women Parliamentary Caucus.

Zwane said His Majesty King Mswati III and Indlovukazi were highly sensitive with regards to gender equity.

The caucus comprised of women serving in the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

RWPC, in its lobbying exercise, has lined-up to meet the likes of Robert Thwala, the Chief Electoral Officer, Home Affairs Principal Secretary Meshack Shongwe and Lutsango Regiment Leader Ayllen Dlamini, including NGOs.

Swazi Observer

24 September 2007

By Thulani Ndwandwe

PRAISING it for its commitment to people's issues, His Majesty King Mswati III on Friday thanked The Swazi Observer for its support to a project towards ending child hunger in Swaziland.

The King noted that ending child hunger and under nutrition among Swazi children was a national priority that required major effort by all.
He added that The Swazi Observer's contribution towards that objective deserves praise.

The Swazi Observer donated advertising space worth over E60 000 to ensure maximum publicity towards the 'Swaziland Music Festival' to be held at Mavuso Trade Centre in Manzini on December 1, 2007 [World AIDS DAY].

The Swazi Observer also donated a full page, on a weekly basis, to be used by Esicojeni Foundation, a child hunger alleviation organisation under His Majesty's patronage.

The full-page will be used by Esicojeni Foundation every week, starting next week and each is valued at E8 000.

This was revealed to His Majesty during a press conference on Friday at Lozitha Palace, where the King unveiled E250 000 raised by Esicojeni Foundation from fundraising events in May. Also present was Prime Minister Themba Dlamini, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Mathendele Dlamini, Chairman of Esicojeni Foundation Tineyi Mawocha and committee members, as well as concert organiser and Director of Ekasi Entertainment and Promotions Sydney Zwane.

Zwane pledged to donate six percent of the proceeds from the concert to Esicojeni Foundation to benefit the children.

"We would like to thank The Swazi Observer newspaper and to express our deep gratitude for the valuable donations of space to be used for publicity of the activities of Esicojeni Foundation and for the concert in December. This is a fine example that should be emulated by all since ending hunger and poverty is an important national priority," the King said.

The King commanded the committee members of Esicojeni Foundation to make full use of the donated full page to keep the nation up to date with the activities and finances of the organisation.

"This will ensure accountability and the efficient use of resources. When people are well-informed about what you are doing as an organisation, they will be encouraged to make more donations and support us further. They will have confidence in what we do because they will have a clear understanding of where their money goes and whether it reaches the targeted people," the King said.

His Majesty added that the full page will go a long way in demonstrating to the world that the Swazi nation was doing something to fight poverty and deprivation and was not just looking for donations.


"We are looking forward to further co-operation with The Swazi Observer as this shows that the newspaper is committed to people's issues and the fight against poverty," the King said.

Meanwhile, The Swazi Observer Chief Editor Musa Ndlangamandla stated before His Majesty that his newspaper was committed to partnering with organisations that sought to fight poverty and ensure a better life for the people.

"Your Majesty, as a company, we salute you for your hands-on approach in initiatives that fight poverty and hunger. Your concern for your people is clear for all to see as you push for a collective effort to ensure a better life for all. We are impressed that you did not delegate authority to your ministers, but personally involved yourself and said enough is enough in so far as hunger, poverty and deprivation is concerned. The Swazi Observer is in no doubt that under your guidance and leadership great things will be achieved," Ndlangamandla said.

The Chief Editor informed His Majesty that in its quest for profits and growth, the company did not forget its responsibility to the people.

"Your Majesty, these pages cost a lot of money. However, we are happy to donate them to Esicojeni Foundation and to publish stories about their activities on a weekly basis. With your help, Your Majesty, we are confident that they will deliver and that the partnership will be a runaway success," Ndlangamandla said.

The Chief Editor said the E60 000 advertising sponsorship for the festival was meant to ensure that more and more people, in Swaziland and in other parts of the world, were made aware of the event.

"The more people support the concert, Your Majesty, the more children will benefit from the six percent that has been pledged by Ekasi Entertainment and Promotions," he said.

Zwane thanked The Swazi Observer for the donation saying such partnerships will go a long way in creating awareness about the event.

"We are grateful for the sponsorship and would like to assure The Swazi Observer that it will be put to good use. We are grateful to all the companies who have come up in support of the event," he said.

Swazi Times

24 September 2007

Njabulo consulting with Manto on HIV


MBABANE – Health and Social Welfare Minister Njabulo Mabuza is in constant consultation with his South African counterpart regarding research being conducted on HIV/AIDS related issues.

South Africa’s Health Minister Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang supports research being conducted on a herb known as Sutherlandia, which is believed to have the potential to delay the onset of AIDS among HIV positive people.

“We have no option but to rely on South Africa for research,” said Mabuza.

“Swaziland is still not advanced enough to do much research but South Africa is a developed country. Like us, most countries in the region depend on South Africa for research.”

According to researchers, clinical trials to test Sutherlandia’s effectiveness will involve at least 125 patients living with HIV.

They will be accommodated at Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.

The purpose of the trials will be to test the safety and effectiveness of capsules of Sutherlandia in patients newly diagnosed with HIV.

The scientists announced their plans on August 28, saying the project would most likely begin this month (September), once the South African Medicines Control Council completes its final regulatory check.

They expect to have results by August 2009.

According to South African media reports, the research will be conducted by the South African universities of KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, along with the Traditional Healers’ Association of South Africa.

The United States based University of Missouri will also be involved.

Traditional healers use Sutherlandia Frutescens, sometimes known as ‘cancer bush’, to treat a host of ailments from weight loss to aches and pains.

Reports say Sutherlandia has several active ingredients.

Local Minister Mabuza says his South African counterpart regularly informs him of developments.

The minister said while he had not been briefed on the Sutherlandia research particularly, his ministry would engage the South Africans to discuss it.

The two countries are also working on refining the arrangement of sending patients from Swaziland to South Africa on referral.

These are patients who need specialist medical care.

The Swazi government would like to see patients from the kingdom treated at South African hospitals at lower cost than is presently the case.

Swazi Observer

21 September 2007

Goat milk market identified
By Phila Dlamini

KINGDOM KID, the umbrella body of the goat industry in the country, says it has found a lucrative market for goat milk.

Chairperson Jimmy Hlophe (Mahlangatja MP) stated that the identified market had indicated that it wanted 1 000 litres of goat milk a day.
“We are appealing to farmers to give this the seriousness it deserves, as the market will not commit unless they are certain that we will be able to supply a quality product on a consistent basis,” he said.

It is worth noting that goat milk currently retails at around E12 per litre and is more profitable than cow milk. However, it may not be an easy way to freedom for local farmers as they have to get a breed that is more suitable to milk production.

The local Nguni goat produces very low quantities of milk and as such, does not offer farmers a viable option.

TechnoServe Swaziland recently completed a study on the viability of the local goat industry.

Goat dairy is another area that was looked into. The study found that big business dairy development may later provide opportunities for smaller farmers.

Commenting on this new opportunity, Hlophe said local farmers should move away from the taboo mindsets Swazis generally have about goat milk, as there was no scientific proof to the effect that consuming goat milk caused skin scaling.

Swaziland Dairy Board’s Dennis Msibi, earlier said the industry had the potential to grow. Msibi co-works with Tisuka TakaNgwane in the development of Tisuka’s goat dairy project.

However, the TechnoServe study also found that dairy commercialisation in the goat industry would require large capital investments from big players. According to TechnoServe, the Tisuka project would later integrate small farmers into the dairy business.

Further, it would aid farmers in dairy goat husbandry, development of an infrastructure necessary for the commercialisation of goat milk and the establishment of retail partners.

The study also revealed that goat milk has added advantages over cow milk.

Due to its smaller molecule size and different protein structure, it is easily more digested and may be the only milk tolerated by people with lactose intolerance, allergies or illnesses such as HIV and AIDS as well as cancers of the stomach.

It was further found that New Zealand is the leading producer of powdered goat milk products, with France also having huge goat dairies. However, as first world countries, they face high labour costs.

For locals, it has been advised that they must bear in mind that the commercialisation process takes a long time and should not be viewed as one way of making a quick buck.

The TechnoServe study says the initiation phase to commercialisation of a dairy enterprise can take up to five years.

The study concludes that successful crossbreeding programmes could yield immediate benefits for farmers. However, opportunities exist at a later stage and require partnerships with larger corporate players.


FURTHERMORE, Kingdom Kid revealed that they were also close to clinching good market agreements.

“We will be meeting with representatives from the Malaysian buyer and also, we met the Mozambican agent yesterday so things are looking quite good,” said Hlophe.

“We will be finalising the contract details soon,” he added.

Other markets that will be availed to local goat farmers are in KwaZulu Natal, other regions of South Africa, Malaysia and the Middle East.

Swazi Times

21 September 2007


Chaos as soldier couple fights


FAIRVIEW – It was war when two soldiers, a husband and a wife, fought over the man’s makhwapheni (secret lover), resulting in the burning of the rival woman’s flat by the angry wife.

The wife, who is a sergeant, is said to have emptied a two-litre container of petrol into the room belonging to the 2nd Lieutenant’s secret lover before setting it alight – burning almost everything inside.

All three parties involved are known to this newspaper, but their identities may not be revealed until police complete their investigation.

The makhwapheni was not in her flat when the wife set it alight, but a visiting friend was inside.

Relating the story, the makhwapheni said the whole episode started unfolding on Wednesday night at about 8:15pm when her lover’s wife arrived at her flat unannounced.

She said the woman soldier demanded that she should open the door so she could have an audience with her husband.

“The wife came here yesterday (Wednesday) – she broke windows, banged the door and then poured petrol through the door. The husband then came out, and they fought for a few minutes. She then left. This morning, she returned at about 7:45am. She poured petrol on the floor - lit it, before closing the door. After doing this – she left without saying a word,” said the secret lover.

When the wife arrived in the morning, the secret lover said she was not in the house, but she had left her friend.

Asked if she was living with the husband, the makhwapheni said the male soldier would frequently pay her a visit.

She said she had been involved with him for quite some time, but was not able to give the exact duration of their relationship.

She said she was very much aware that her ‘lover’ had a wife. Interestingly, she even knows the name of the wife and where she is employed.

About the attacks, the makhwapheni said she had not yet met with her lover to discuss the way forward.

A witness, who did not wish to be named, said the secret lover watched the fight behind a locked burglar door.

The witness said the husband tried not to fight his wife, but was forced after he was stabbed in the hand.

“After he was stabbed, he floored her with a powerful punch. Sensing danger, the wife took to her heels with the husband in pursuit. The man failed to catch up with her,” the witness said.

The Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) spokesman, Captain Khanya Dlamini, confirmed that the couple were members of the force, and acknowledged that they were husband and wife.

The spokesperson said no measures would be taken against the pair because it was a family matter.

Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed the incident, adding that Manzini police were still investigating.

Masuku said no arrests had been made so far, but said the woman was wanted in connection with arson.

“Police are still looking for her,” he said.

Swazi Observer

20 September 2007

World Vision beckons free education
By Munambeza Muwanei

WORLD Vision says it is looking forward to a time when government will provide free primary education to all children in Swaziland.

National Director, Marco Ngwenya made these remarks at Sandleni where His Majesty King Mswati III officially opened the Mhlosheni Area Development Programme offices.
Ngwenya commended government for subsiding primary education.

“World Vision applauds His Majesty’s bursary fund for orphaned and vulnerable children. We are looking forward to a time when his Majesty’s government will provide free primary school education to all children in Swaziland.

“We should admit, however, Your Majesty that we appreciate the move by your government to start off with subsiding primary school education,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to His Majesty for having keen interest in the welfare of children.

“We take special interest as an organisation because we are child focused. From these initiatives we can attest that the King has a passion and vision for the children of Swaziland,” he said.

However, he noted that there was an increase in the number of children who went to school.

“Each time we ask how some children who have no parents are able to pay their schools fees in the face of so many problems, they generally answer: ‘His Majesty pays for my school fees’,” he said.

He also commended government for supporting all his organisation’s development efforts in rural communities.

“ If it was not for their collaboration, World Vision would not have made that humble contribution to the lives of the people in Swaziland,” he said

He pledged his organisation’s commitment to assisting communities, further assuring they would continue assisting people that have been affected by drought.

“World Vision is passionate about assisting communities realise their full potential by tackling the challenge of poverty through community based and sustainable methods,”

“World Vision is committed to working with his Majesty’s government. For instance, in the issue of the drought currently affecting 410 000 people in Swaziland, World Vision is mounting a massive response in improving livelihoods, providing water, improving health and nutrition as well as food aid distribution,” he said.

Ngwenya explained that his organisation operated on Christian ethics and also focused on the welfare of children. It started operating in Swaziland in 1992 as a relief programme.

World vision now operates in more than 170 rural communities in Swaziland supporting over 41 000 children in communities whose annual budget for projects is E147 million which is also set to increase.

Swazi Times

20 September 2007

SA man dumps faulty truck with E200 000 load


HHELEHHELE – A South African truck driver yesterday decided to abandon the truck he was driving, which had developed mechanical problems along the Hhhelehhele – Manzini public road with a load valued at E200 000.

Lawrence Sambo (35), who was driving a freightliner truck from Samlink Distributors, said he came to Swaziland last Wednesday and proceeded to Siphofaneni to fetch the tools being used by the contractor for a project there.


On Thursday, he was involved in an accident and had to stay until Saturday as he tried to organise mechanics to fix the truck.

“Well, after it was fixed I managed to drive the truck to this area – even though it would develop problems along the road. I got here on Monday,” he said.

He said he had been sleeping in the truck since Monday and had to wash by the road, as he could not do so inside the truck.

When asked how he got food, he said he was lucky to have money and would walk to the nearest butchers at Hhelehhele.

Sambo said he had been getting empty promises that a breakdown was being sent and by yesterday he had realised that he was better off at home with his children.

When the Times visited him at Hhelehhele yesterday he was hitchhiking back to SA. He said even yesterday morning he had been told that a breakdown was on its way.

He said he could no longer take his stay along the road.

This is the second time the truck has developed mechanical probl-ems and he said the first time thugs stole the truck’s diesel tank.


He said he realised that if he continued with this company he would possibly lose his life and he was contemplating leaving it for another.

On arrival on the site his bag and 15-litre basin were next to him as he hitchhiked.

The truck was carrying the following things;

l A12 metre volt transformer

l A double winch

l Water transmition pipes

l Other goods inside a container all valued at close to E200 000

Swazi Observer

19 September 2007

E500m needed for Mkhondvo dam project
By Starsky Mkhonta

FOR the dam structure being proposed to facilitate better utilisation for farming and other purposes, it would cost no less than E500 million to shape up Mkhondvo river for such projects.

These estimates were disclosed during a breakfast meeting for the Shiselweni business community last Saturday at Nhlangano Sun.
During a presentation, Swaziland Water Agricultural Development Enterprise (SWADE) CEO Doctor Lukhele said Shiselweni folk needed to start getting their act together in order to realise their dream of putting Mkhondvo river to good use.

Lukhele had been invited by the business community to assist them on how to go about stopping the river from flowing into neighbouring states without it being put to good use locally.

Unconfirmed reports were that Mkhondvo river has been earmarked for a major shake-up soon, to make it more attractive as well as ensuring that it has areas that could draw tourists, more especially with Mahamba Gorge being in close proximity, further enhancing its advantages.


During the breakfast meeting where participants were afforded a chance of being furnished with details on how best Mkhondvo river could be utilised, the SWADE CEO mentioned that for just the dam structure, a sum of not less than E500 million would be needed.

"This is just an estimate for only the proposed dam structure," said Lukhele, responding to a query from one of the participants who wanted to know the costs involved.

The Mkhondvo river, it was said, has been targeted as one area Shiselweni residents could count on for solutions, with regard to water scarcity.

For years, it was reported, studies and surveys were carried out with the intention of having the river and part of its surroundings, shaped into a standard that would enable people to start engaging in projects. The area was earmarked for developments almost equaling the standard of Maguga Dam.

According to Shiselweni Business Community Chairperson Justice Nxumalo, the delay in making use of the river could as well be another jinx for the region.

"We are always considered the bottom placed region, in particular when it comes to development. It is time we stand up and be counted.

"It is only people from the region who should be showing commitment on which direction we want the region to take. The objective of this gathering is just part of this in order to have our long-standing dream realised," he said.

Nxumalo said SWADE, being an organisation that has been involved in a number of projects such as LUSIP and others around the country, was equal to the task on how part of the river flowing in the region could be utilised.

"In actual fact, our understanding was that after the Maguga project, we were going to be the next region to have Mkhondvo shaped into a magnificent place, as well as utilising the water for other projects. We are, however, still nursing hopes that our turn is going to come," he said.


Meanwhile, a four-member steering committee was elected and entrusted with the task of making sure that projects earmarked to start at Mkhondvo in collaboration with Mahamba Gorge were not delayed any longer to see Shiselweni people benefiting.

Nxumalo was elected as chairperson while upcoming businessman Richard Khwezi Myeni was elected secretary.

Members include popular businessman Rudolph 'Mjuda' Diamond and former Maseyisini MP Rodgers Matsebula. Shiselweni Swaziland Water Services Corporation (SWSC) Regional Manager Sikelela Fakudze was co-opted as ex-officio member.

Ministries targeted to be visited by the Nxumalo-led team include natural resources, economic and planning, agriculture as well as the prime minister's office, to solicit assistance in initiating the projects.

On another note, another river in the Shiselweni region being eyed for development is the Ngwavuma, which studies reveal could be massively utilised for irrigation purposes.

Swazi Times

19 September 2007

‘I was beaten for stealing underwears


MBABANE – A woman has told the court how she was beaten for stealing 10 underwears worth E128.

Bonsile Matsebula, 22, had appeared before Siteki Court President Chief Mvimbi Matse when she claimed that employees of the local Pep Stores led her to the storeroom where they allegedly assaulted her before handing her over to the police.

Phumzile Lukhele, who appeared as a complainant in the matter, denied these claims and said they only asked Matsebula why she had stuffed underwear and bras she had not paid for in her handbag.

Leading Crown evidence, Lukhele said Matsebula entered the shop and kept herself busy next to the underwear shelves.

She said Matsebula spent a lot of time there loitering, something which made them suspect she was up to something.

Lukhele said when she got to the exit point, they stopped her and requested to search her handbag, which she refused. Lukhele said Matsebula finally threw the bag at them and when they searched it they found the under- wears.

She said they called the police who arrested and charged her with theft.

Matsebula pleaded guilty to the charge, but did not state why she had stolen the items, sized medium and large. Chief Matse sentenced her to nine months’ imprisonment with a fine option of E180, which she paid.


Swazi Observer

18 September 2007

King to address UN General Assembly
By Njabulo Dlamini

HIS Majesty King Mswati III is expected to address the 62nd United Nations General (UN) Assembly in New York next Wednesday.

This is according to Clifford Mamba, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who said the King leaves on Saturday for the world meeting.
The Summit commences next Tuesday, according to information sourced from New York media.

Whilst in the US, the King is expected to meet with businessmen amongst them executive directors of giant firm Coca-Cola in a bid to galvanise support for a massive project the country will be undertaking.

“After the UN summit, the King is expected to proceed to Atlanta where the Coca-Cola offices are located and meet directors of the giant firm. He’ll also meet some Washington businessmen before making the trip back home,” Mamba said.

He said the King was expected to remain in the US for about eight days.

Amongst the King’s delegation is Foreign Affairs Minister Mathendele Dlamini as well as Enterprise and Employment Minister Lutfo Dlamini.

In 2005 the King addressed the UN General Assembly where he minced no words in that Swaziland was a very poor State and was no middle-income nation as had been reflected by the world at some point.

He pointed out that Swaziland was afflicted by the HIV and AIDS pandemic and poverty, amongst other challenges.

He also highlighted several interventions by government and other partners on the ground aimed at alleviating the situation.

Meanwhile, the New York Post reports that leaders from around the globe will descend on the city this week for the annual General Assembly.

“The conference will touch on everything from counter-terrorism to global warming and even include a speech by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Security will be tight during the session, which starts Tuesday. “Expect street closures and traffic jams, particularly during a number of high-profile events next week,” reported the New York Post.

His Majesty returned from the Republic of China on Taiwan last Saturday, with news that a number of business people from that country had committed considerable amounts of money for the construction of a science and technology park as well as a cargo terminal at Sikhuphe international airport.

He said resources for the two projects had already been set aside and more projects were also in the pipeline although their financiers had not set aside funds for them to be galvanised yet.

Swazi Times

18 September 2007

Car radio thief beaten to death


MBABANE – A young suspect car radio thief died painfully after he was attacked and beaten by an angry mob yesterday morning at Gilcor Flats.

The man had allegedly been caught in the act at about 4am while removing the radio from a black VW Golf motor vehicle by the man who had rented the car from a local car hire company.

He had gained entry by breaking the car window on the driver’s side while it was parked at the flats located near All Saints bus station, about a kilometre from the city centre.

The man, who had rented the car, is said to have called for help while trying to apprehend the thief and people nearby woke up to respond in their numbers. They assaulted the man until he was unconscious.

According to eyewitnesses, the man, whose name will not be published pending official notification of his family, later died while undergoing treatment at the Mbabane Government Hospital.

The witnesses said he suffered bruises all over the body as he was allegedly beaten with broomsticks and any other objects the mob of more than 10 people could lay their hands on.

“We then called the police as the boy was now bleeding from the beating and was no longer moving, I believe he was unconscious. They took him to hospital,” he said.

According to the man who had rented the car, who may not be identified, he woke up at around 4am with the intention to charge his cellphone and only to hear noise coming from outside.

“I then checked through the window as to what was happening only to find that there was a man inside my car. I quickly came out forgetting that I was naked. The man started running away and I chased him, as he was already running away with the radio,” he said.

He mentioned that as he was running, he also called for help and luckily his brother woke up and joined in the chase.

“We were able to catch the suspect and we brought him back to the flats. We found that most of the tenants were already outside as they wanted to help. The man was then beaten up as he was fighting us. Police were later called and he was rushed to hospital, where he eventually died while undergoing treatment,” he said.

He mentioned that when the police took him, he could hardly walk, as he was injured.

“I was also injured in the process.

“I had to go to the hospital in the morning, where I was treated for wounds sustained while chasing the thief,” he said.

Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed the matter, stating that the Mbabane Police were still investigating the circumstances that led to the death.

He further said the radio was discovered in the possession of the deceased

Swazi Observer

17 September 2007

The Calabash: new look Castle introduced
By Bongile Mavuso

SWAZILAND Beverages Limited (SBL) has officially introduced the new Calabash 750ml glass bottle for the Castle Lager and Castle Milk Stout brands.

These were officially launched to SBL customers on Saturday evening at Timbali Lodge.
SBL Trade Marketing (Beer) Manager Angelica Maier Rudd stated that the Castle brand had grown over the years and the company felt there was a need to position the brand in order for it to stand out from other products.

She said the introduction of the new packaging of the same product comes with a price increase for consumers.

"We have invested a lot in bringing in the new calabash bottle, which justifies the 6.5 percent price increase for the 750ml product. The others will remain unchanged. However, the previous packaging of the 750ml (quart) is still in circulation, but all new stock will become in the calabash bottle," Maier Rudd added.


The calabash is said to be a bottle that lasts longer than the previous container. However, the company has not changed the deposit value for the bottle empties.

The manager stated that the company had invested in a number of machinery, glass and crates.

A new coating station has also been introduced and the marketing support kits have been revised for the Castle brands to stand out from the other products.

Maier Rudd stated that the new bottles started circulating about two weeks ago, although that was not the initial plan.

Meanwhile, Corporate Affairs Manager Sharon Maziya stated that they encountered a crisis one Friday morning where there were no empties returned to them.

"We encountered a situation where we had all our brewing pots full and there were no bottles to fill in. We had already produced the Calabash bottles and had to use them to deliver stock to clients," Maziya said.

This came after customers inquired why the company decided on introducing the product in their outlets before informing them as owners of the change.

In response, Maier Rudd stated that the introduction of the Calabash bottles would require more critical sorting from outlets. She further emphasised that the old bottle empties were not to be mixed with the new ones.

"The introduction of the new 750ml bottle type will result in two bottle types being in the market at the same time. This 'change' to the current situation will require close attention by both SBL delivery staff and traders, in order to ensure that returning empties are not mixed up when returned to SBL," she added.

Some customers complained that this would be hard on their staff who have to manage the business and also sort out the bottles, adding that they needed assistance in that regard.

Maier Rudd stated that the company would ensure that there was also an increase in the number of people sorting the bottles at the plant site.

She stressed that the returned empties had to be sorted by bottle type, within each crate and within each pallet.


Swazi Times

17 September 2007

Knife-wielding brother attacks groom


LWANDLE –A wedding was thrown into disarray yesterday when the groom’s brother, armed with a knife, attacked him as well-wishers watched in shock. The aggressor was later arrested after he was overpowered by the groom in a bloody fight that could have been fatal, had it not been for the intervention of some people in the wedding party.

The spoil-spot, Themba Maziya, had earlier confronted the siblings’ mother, Alvina, whom he allegedly accused of giving the younger brother a goat to traditionally wed his wife.

It was gathered that he was unhappy with this as he, at 27, still had no wife, accusing his mother of assisting the younger brother, Mfanzile, aged 21, to get married.

The incident came barely a day after Alvina, who had been in mourning following the death of one of her sons sometime this year, had discarded the mourning gowns on Saturday. She said her older son spoilt what was a special day for her and the Maziya family as they welcomed a new member of the family. The siblings’ mother said Themba thought she had given the goat to Mfanzile free of charge.

“I think Themba thought I had given the goat to Mfanzile free, but the truth is that he actually bought it from me,” said Alvina.

She continued, “He argued that he was supposed to have been the first to marry. However, Mfanzile had everything in place before him. What I can is that my son was overcome by jealousy that his younger brother has taken a wife ahead of him,” she said.

Seeing that Themba wanted to manhandle their mother, Happy (29), a sister to the two brothers, intervened. She alerted her younger brother, who, at the time, was inside his house.

She said there was a confrontation between the two brothers, who ended up exchanging blows.

Sensing defeat, Themba ran into his house and later emerged armed with three knives. He lunged at his younger brother, who ran away towards the family’s maize fields.

Themba gave chase, and caught up with his brother. Just as he charged forward preparing to stab him, Mfanzile’s brother in-law Thulani Dlamini tripped him and he fell.

Dlamini, with the assistance of other men who had attended the ceremony, disarmed him and tied him. He was later tied with a rope and locked up in a house until police, who had been called earlier arrived and arrested him.

The ceremony continued after the incident even though the spirit was not the same. Some people left.

Swazi Observer

14 September 2007

Ghosts’ held for social grant fraud
By Timothy Simelane

TWO women aged 31 and 44 were arrested for attempting to defraud the social grant for the elderly at Mpolonjeni next to Siteki yesterday.

Isabel Bulunga and Neli Ndzimandze claimed to be collecting the social grants on behalf of their mothers. However, prompt investigations on the spot revealed that both their mothers had died.
They were subsequently arrested by the Siteki Police and charged with theft by false pretences.

The elderly get E300 every three months.

Police Public Relations officer, Superintendent Vusi Masuku said the two women had alleged that their mothers were too sick and bedridden hence they could not come to the pay point at the Mpolonjeni Inkhundla.

“Police found that they were lying and promptly arrested them,” he said.

Masuku said the two would appear at the Siteki Magistrates court today.

He warned people never to take advantage of the social grant because it was not meant for every Jim and Jack.

“The social grant was meant to benefit the elderly that have reached the age of 60 and not just everyone. People should not falsify information to induce payment of the grant,” he said.

Masuku said police would continue to strengthen security at the pay points to weed out would-be fraudsters.

Swazi Times

14 September 2007

MTN applies to bar strikes


MBABANE – Hardly a year before its monopoly expires, Swazi MTN wants its workers barred from going on strike.

The company wants to be placed under essential services, which currently include health, water, fire, electricity and telephone and telegraphic services.

Designating the mobile telephone provider as an essential service will be a process, according to Labour Commissioner Jinnoh Nkambule.

He said the process had been set in motion following a request by the company.

The Labour Department has actually issued a notice, calling on all interested parties to make submissions regarding the issue.

The commissioner published the notice on behalf of the Essential Services Committee, which is established in terms of Section 93 of the Industrial Relations Act.

The notice says this committee is conducting investigations on whether or not Swazi MTN as a whole or in part, may be designated as an essential service.

Interested parties were invited to submit written representations and indicate whether or not they require an opportunity to make oral representations.

They have been given 30 days from the date of publication of the notice.

Responding to a question from this newspaper, Nkambule said the company’s employees were also free to voice their opinion regarding the matter.

He said the Essential Services Committee would investigate the matter and make recommendations to the Commissioner’s office.

“The outcome could go either way,” said Nkambule.

“It could say the organisation may be designated as an essential service or that it may not. That would depend on whether the company passes the test of being an essential service.”

He said part of the mobile telephone provider could also be classified as essential, which would mean that, in the event of a strike action, certain sections would remain operational. Swazi MTN started operating in Swaziland in September 1998.

It was given a 10-year monopoly, which comes to an end next year.

Swazi MTN’s Chief Marketing Officer Victor Rakhale said the request for designation as an essential service was meant to protect the consumer.

“Whether we like it or not, the service we are providing has become essential,” said Rakhale.

“It is a primary platform through which people can communicate.”

He said being designated as an essential service would ensure that even if there was a strike within the company, there would not be a total blackout of the service.

“Our reasons are in the public interest. The question is how do we protect our subscribers?” he said.

Swazi Observer

12 September 2007


Kwaito star on road to recovery
By Mphikeleli Msibi

KWAITO sensation L’vovo Derango, who was involved in a fatal accident over the weekend, is recuperating at a Gauteng hospital.

The star of ‘Bayang’sukela’ fame was reportedly in a stable condition yesterday, having successfully undergone an operation at a private clinic in Springs.
Sowetan’s Gugulethu Sibiya, interviewed yesterday, said the latest information about the star was that he was still in hospital, probably for observation. Sibiya said they had been assured that L’vovo was recovering and would probably be out of hospital soon.

The star sustained serious injuries on his arm and nose when his car was involved in an accident that claimed two lives on Sunday afternoon after a show in Delmas. DJ Buddah was one of those who died, together with the driver of the other car involved in the accident.

Meanwhile, artists’ manager Zakes Matiti, also injured during the accident, also underwent an operation yesterday.

The three were on their way to OR Tambo International Airport to catch a 9pm flight to Durban after their performance in Delmas when the car apparently lost control while trying to avoid an oncoming one.

“L’vovo has a broken arm and his nose has several stitches and needs further operations. He is out of danger and has been stabilised,” Sowetan reported yesterday, quoting an impeccable source.

Music promoter Prosper Mkwaiwa, who organised the Delmas 100 Celebrations where the musicians performed, described the scene of the accident as ‘traumatising’.

“I was at the scene five minutes after it happened. I have not seen anything like that in my life. It appeared as if L’vovo’s driver lost control of the car while trying to avoid a car coming from the opposite direction. The car hit them on the driver’s side,” he told Sowetan.


Swazi Times

12 September 2007


Mbabane Council launches ‘Operation Shanyela’


MBABANE – As a means of reducing crime in the city, the City Council of Mbabane in conjunction with the Royal Swaziland Police Services (RSP) has launched an operation known as ‘Operation Shanyela.’

This is aimed at reducing crime.

‘Operation Shanyela’ was launched yesterday morning at the council’s offices.

The city’s police Post Commander, Sergeant Innocent Mtimkhulu, and Inspector Nathaniel Motsa represented the police, while the council was represented by the Chief Security Officer, Sabelo Mbingo, and Public Relations Officer (PRO) Bongani Dlamini.

Dlamini said after several complaints from people residing within the city and its surrounding areas on the rate of break-ins and thefts, they saw it proper to partner with the police to try and reduce crime.

“The city has to be a place where one is able to walk freely without being disturbed by anyone.

“After seeing that there are people who have started causing harm to the people living in the city, we saw it fit to launch such an operation that would see people having peaceful nights,” he said.

He said the operation would not only be conducted in the city, but police would visit the city’s surrounding areas.

“We have already visited Makholokholo and indeed, the raid was successful.

“There are other places that will be visited which include Msunduza, Fonteyn, Dalrich and Thembelihle,” he said.

Dlamini said this operation would continue until such time that the city was crime free.

“Those who are causing havoc in the city should know that this time around, we are serious and indeed we will make sure that we fight the crime up until the end,” he said.


Swazi Observer

11 September 2007

Opportunities in tourism, hospitality for 2010
Stories by Phila Dlamini

LOCAL entrepreneurs stand to benefit from tourism related business opportunities arising from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which will be hosted by South Africa.

Most of the opportunities identified are in the tourism and hospitality sector.
This was said by S'khumbuzo Nkuna, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Shingange Group (Nelspruit) during a presentation on opportunities available for the local businesses during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Nkuna’s presentation focused on, “a bias basis to world cup related tourism.” He said this would be purely a private sector driven initiative, which, however, required support from the government.

“As the host country, South Africa stands as a representative of Africa and as part of an African family of nations.” He then quoted a letter by South African President, Thabo Mbeki, which in part reads, “the foundation of this bid lies in our resolve to ensure that the 21st century unfolds as a century of growth and development in Africa.

"We want on behalf of our continent to stage an event that will send ripples of confidence from Cape to Cairo, an event that will create social and economic opportunities throughout Africa.”

Further, Nkuna added that the commitment to making the 2010 FIFA World Cup an African event has been strongly supported by the African Union (AU).

Nkuna said Swaziland was well positioned and stands as a key ally and strategic neighbour to South Africa. “Swaziland can be part of the Mpumalanga preparations, using the same transport networks and systems. And the establishment of good media relations,” said Nkuna. “Also, Swaziland has a competitive advantage, as a direct neighbour to Mpumalanga (a host province). Furthermore there are strong economic ties with the host city, Nelspruit and the Swazi capital Mbabane.”

Other factors that can be used by Swaziland to her advantage are the good climatic conditions, which in turn can be used to attract tourists from South Africa. He added that Swaziland is renowned for stability, a visible cultural identity, good international relations and a member of FIFA, with national team players in the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL).

An event that Swaziland can utilise to gauge her readiness for the World Cup is the pre world cup tournament.

“There can be pre and post world cup tourism initiatives, i.e. development of packages targeted at certain markets but riding on spectators. “The promotion of Swazi branded garments and crafts. And the provision of alternative accommodation for Mbombela fans as Swaziland is nearer to Nelspruit than Middleburg & Hoedspruit.”

Rather than everyone focusing on the influx of tourists, Nkuna said other businesses should focus on the provision of services & products to fellow Swazi Nationals.

These include, transport to South African stadiums for the games, fan parks, catering, food hampers, soccer clinics and the selling of merchandise e.g. approved soccer kits and memorabilia.

“An estimated 2.7 million spectators will watch the world cup matches to be played across South Africa. With an expected 450 000 tourists. All these point to a direction of huge tourism spin off’s post 2010,” concluded Nkuna.

Swazi Times

11 September 2007


Leaving an empty can outside your yard could be dangerous


MBABANE – If you thought leaving an empty can of soft drink outside your yard was not dangerous, think again.

With rains expected and the heat wave continuing, your worst nightmare when it comes to night and sleeping will be giving you a buzz.

Mosquitos are already giving some people sleepless nights. Though no cases of malaria have been reported as yet, the Malaria Control Unit is not taking any chances.

Teams have already been sent out in the Lubombo region with means of controlling and fighting malaria.

The region is known to be among the affected areas when it comes to Malaria.

Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a parasite (plasmodium), which is transmitted from human to human by the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.

Malaria Control Unit Research Officer Zulisile Zulu said they had started the indoor residual house spraying, especially in the areas that are normally affected by the disease.

“The three teams are currently in places like Tikhuba, and Masini. Our aim is to make sure that the disease is reduced into nothing this summer,” she said.

Zulu said depending on the rain, they might be forced to spread their wings to the other regions.

“At the moment, we are still concentrating in the Lubombo region as it is known to be the most affected area, but should the situation become worse, we will definitely proceed to the other regions,” she said.

Adding, Zulu said they always needed the assistance of the communities they visited when fighting malaria.

“The chemical we use for spraying needs water and in some places, you find that people do not want to give us because they do not know the importance of spraying. We urge them to work hand in hand with us so that we are able to fight the disease,” she said.

Swazi Observer

10 September 2007

SD needs more entrepreneurs


MINISTER of Regional Development and Youth Affairs Chief Sipho Shongwe has said Swaziland needs more entrepreneurs like the top 20 who graduated in the Believe Begin Become national business plan competition.


Shongwe was representing Minister of Enterprise and Employment Lutfo Dlamini during a graduation ceremony for 20 BPC participants last week.


“It is our belief that in order to achieve our goal of long term, sustainable economic development, we need people like you. Entrepreneurs who will develop new ideas and businesses that will provide jobs and income for many Swazi people.”

Shongwe then acknowledged TechnoServe for the continued support in the growth and development of the Swazi economy through the Swaziland Enterprise and Entrepreneurship programme (SWEEP).

Davinia Seay, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Political and Economic Officer urged the graduands to “be the change you want to see in the world,” a phrase she attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.

Seay said the United States funded the programme because it combines two great principles; “That of investing in people as well as the improvement of the economy and the welfare of society through the promotion of SME growth.”


Believe Begin Become is funded by the USAID and is designed, managed and executed by TechnoServe. It also receives funding from the local private sector.

TechnoServe says its business plan competition model is an effective, tested high return method for identifying, mentoring and improving the environment for entrepreneurs who will start and grow enterprises that will create jobs, revenues and ultimately wealth.


Swazi Times

10 September 2007

Chicken thief murdered


MATSANJENI – A 40-year-old man of Matsanjeni was killed after he was suspected to have stolen chickens.

Matsanjeni is situated in the country’s most impoverished area near Lavumisa.

The man, only identified as Malinga, died after three men from the area assaulted him with sticks and knobkerrie all over the body after they found him selling chickens he was alleged to have stolen from their home.

They had tracked to the place where he was selling the chickens by following boot marks they had found at the homestead.

The owner of the homestead, Vonono Macwele, has been arrested with two of his nephews for the alleged murder.

The nephews are Mfanukhona Khumalo (18) and Bheki Mathunjwa (20).

It was gathered that Macwele noticed that some of his chickens were missing and when he went about searching for them he noticed the boot marks, which led them straight to the deceased. .

Together with his nephews they followed the boot marks and would ask people they came across if they knew who the owner of the boots was.

Their investigation led them to a homestead owned by Lillian Ndwandwe who had recently employed Malinga.

“They asked if she knew the boot marks and when she answered to the affirmative they continued with the task of following the marks on the ground.

“These eventually led them straight to Malinga whom they found at an area called Nkonga selling the alleged stolen chickens,” said a relative to the Ndwandwe family.

Macwele and his nephews are said to have then taken him to a river where they allegedly meted out the fatal punishment.

He was beaten until he died.

Lillian Ndwandwe (71) said she had hired Malinga two weeks ago as a herd boy.

“He disappeared last week Wednesday and nobody knew where he had gone. He only came back on Friday morning and said he had gone to fetch his clothes when I asked him where he had been.

“He said the clothes were at a friend’s place but he did not say where this was,” said Ndwandwe.

She said she had noticed that seven of her chicks were missing and so were some of her chickens. This was a day earlier.

“When I asked him about the missing chicks, he told me they were probably eaten by dogs.

The following day I noticed that two hens had also disappeared but because I had a funeral to attend, I told myself that I would deal with this issue today (yesterday).

“When I came home on Saturday afternoon I received the news that Malinga had died after he was assaulted by three men.

“I was told that they had assaulted him because they suspected he had stolen four chickens from their homestead.

“The men are from the same area,” she said.

Ndwandwe said around 8pm on Saturday police came to her homestead to ask for his name but she told them that she did not know it. She said she did not know his name because she never had the chance to ask him as he allegedly had a tendency of disappearing without telling anyone where was going.

She said all she knew was that Malinga was from Siphambanweni.

Ndwandwe said she was not sure what she would do with Malinga’s clothes as she does not know where he was from.

When the Times news team went to the Macwele family there was no one as Macwele’s wife was also not home.

Residents of the area were also not aware of the incident until the police arrested Macwele and his two nephews.

Police Public Relation Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed the reports, adding that three suspects had been arrested in connection with the case and they will tomorrow appear before Lavumisa Magistrate’s court.

Swazi Observer

05 September 2007

Tycoon Dumisa counts on Mbeki
By Timothy Simelane


SWAZI sugar tycoon and hotelier, Dumisa Dlamini says South African President Thabo Mbeki’s declaration of free and fair justice is his hope to reclaim over E600 million he alleges was stolen from him in the neighbouring state.


In papers filed at the High Court of South Africa, Dlamini said he was a major foreign investor in SA and was being owed hundreds of millions by debtors. Despite being dealt a savage blow, allegedly by a bank and its lawyers in the neighbouring state, Dlamini said he would continue investing his money there. “I will continue investing in the country where in the honourable state President swore that free and fair justice will prevail for all under his leadership,” he said.

Dlamini took South African Minister of Justice Brigitte Mabandla and eight judges to court, in a bid to avoid being declared a vexatious litigant.

He said the minister of justice had a right to ensure that he (Dlamini) had a fair public hearing.

The businessman argued that the application of such a law would jeopardise his efforts to reclaim moneys he invested to the neighbouring state.

He had gathered that ABSA and its lawyers had a sinister move to bring an application to have the vexatious order brought against him.

If a vexatious law were to be applied on Dlamini, this would prevent him and his companies from being heard by the courts. It would deny him justice.

He applied for an order interdicting and restraining ABSA from instituting an application for an order in terms of section 2 of the Vexatious Proceedings Act of 1956. “Since 1993, I have appeared and represented myself in the High Courts of South Africa. I was heard and treated fairly by the High Courts. These include the High Court of South Africa, Durban Provincial Division and Cape Provincial Division.

“It is imperative that I state that I did seek and obtained legal representation. I paid for the service rendered. However, when the matters were heard in court they used to let me down by not adhering to the instructions and/or reaching settlement with the opposition, without obtaining instructions from me. For instance in 1999 I was made to sign a statement agreement under duress and without legal representation. The matter was to go on trial on Monday, May 17, 1999, however, unknown to me, my legal team had negotiated settlement with the opposition and by May 14, 1999, it was finalised. When I reached court on May 17, 1999 and discovered the treachery and trickery by my legal team, I terminated their mandate with immediate effect. As a result I lost millions of Rands paid in respect of unsatisfactory services rendered or lack thereof by attorneys and advocates.

He added: “I humbly submit that I am a major investor. I started investing in South Africa before 1994 elections. I have invested hundreds of millions of Rands in the country. Further, hundreds of millions are owed to me and the entities wherein I hold controlling membership interest and shareholding and surely cannot and will not turn a blind eye to this grave injustice.”

Swazi Times

05 September 2007

Suspect poacher’s three dogs shot dead


MANZINI – A 20-year-old man has been hospitalised after he was shot and wounded in his buttocks by game rangers on suspicion of poaching on Monday.

His three dogs were killed on the spot. According to a source, George Tsabedze was shot at about 10am by rangers at Tambuti area.

“What happened is that George was looking for the family cattle that had crossed the Usuthu River into Tambuti Sugar Estate.

“Just near the river, the rangers approached him, and without saying much – they shot him and also killed his three dogs,” the source said.

Both Tsabedze’s father and brother Elijah and Helman, respectively, confirmed the shooting in separate interviews. They both said George was recuperating at the Siteki Good Shepherd Hospital. Relating what led to the shooting, Elijah said the rangers might have suspected that George was poaching since he was in the company of five dogs.

“He was also with his younger brother, Highlander, when he was shot. When he saw the rangers, Highlander ran away. Unfortunately, George was shot when he tried to run away too,” alleged Elijah. Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Superintendent Vusi Masuku confirmed that a 20-year-old man was shot. Masuku said the pack of dogs were also shot after they allegedly attacked the rangers. He said Big Bend police were investigating what led to the shooting of George and his dogs.
Swazi Observer

04 September 2007

‘A well preserved pride for Africa’
By Hlengiwe Ndlovu


TOURISTS from different parts of the globe have hailed the reed dance for being one of the best preserved cultural activities in Africa.

The tourists said they were impressed about the way in which the reed dance was organised and the beauty of the colorful traditional attire awed some tourists who were seeing the bare-breasted maidens for the first time. “I have travelled in many countries around the world and I have witnessed many beautiful cultural activities which really impressed me, but believe me there is just nothing like this,” remarked Valeria Solis from Mexico adding the word ‘beautiful’ was too much of an understatement to describe the reed dance. “Swaziland is also blessed with a breath takingly beautiful landscape, this country is the heartbeat of Africa,” said Solis adding that the mountain ranges surrounding the Lobamba area added flare to the colorful reed dance ceremony. This is what other tourists had to say about the reed dance:

Gemma Parelcada from Spain is currently working as a freelance journalist at the Agencia Efe, which is a Spanish news agency, and she also freelances with a number of newspapers and radio stations in different parts of the globe. “The reed dance is evidently the ‘big party of the year’ for the maidens,” said Parelcada highlighting that as a journalist she had interviewed a number of the maidens who all exuded confidence and a sense of pride about their maidenhood. “This culture is really beautiful and especially because the maidens come here willingly without anyone obligating them to do so,” said Parelcada further adding that she was impressed that maidens from around the country participated in the reed dance and yet in other African traditions, cultural activities were only confined to certain clans and tribes and were not observed at a national level

E.D Dubber (75) from Germany said he lived in Swaziland for 22 years, which is from 1952 to 1974 before he relocated to Germany. Dubber said he comes to the country on a yearly basis to visit his daughter who lives in the country and he makes sure that his visits are scheduled for August so that he can witness the reed dance in his stay in the country. “The reed dance has gained popularity over the years as compared to back in the 1950s when I was still living in the country,” said Dubber adding that the maidens’ participation had tremendously increased over the years. However, Dubber observed that security had tightened in the reed dance and that this was not the case back in the days. “Tourists were allowed to freely take pictures in such cultural activities, but now there are seemingly restrictions in taking photographs at the reed dance,” said Dubber adding that most tourists took pictures simply because of the beauty of the reed dance and as such he felt that they should be allowed to take pictures of the maidens without any qualms.

Laurel Steinfeld from Canada said she was visiting the country with two Austrian friends and one Zambian friend as well. “This cultural ceremony encourages young maidens to preserve their virginity and I am personally impressed about the reed dance,” said Steinfeld adding that she would be soon coming back to the country with her group of friends to assist in the painting of a pre-school in one of the chiefdoms in the country where they managed to meet the chief. On the other hand, Steinfeld said she had watched in amazement at the manner in which Swazi people are respectful and proud of their cultural heritage. “What I have witnessed at the reed dance is simply true African culture at it’s peak,” said the Canadian tourist.

Giles Sutton is head teacher at Buckswood School in the United Kingdom where Princes Lindani, Majaha and Bandzile and Princess Temaswati are currently enrolled. “This is my second time attending the reed dance and it is truly one of the best preserved cultures in Africa,” said Sutton adding that watching the reed dance had always been a pleasure for him.

LTC Perez Yvon from France is a defence force attaché for Swaziland and Mozambique and is currently based in Pretoria. “I have been invited by the ministry of defence in the country to come and witness this colourful occasion and my visit is limited to strictly that for today” said Yvon adding that, however, his role as military attaché was to ensure that there was a long term standing co-operation between France and Swaziland and that the bonds that exists in the two countries is further strengthened.


Swazi Times

04 September 2007


Ntfonjeni beats up girls again


LOBAMBA – Imbali leader Ntfonjeni Dlamini lived up to his reputation of being a disciplinarian when he assaulted a group of maidens with a stick resulting in two of them being rushed to the Lobamba Clinic.

The incident happened yesterday before the start of the Umhlanga main event.

As a result, Nokulunga Mamba and Calisile Tfwala of Mzimnene could not dance before Their Majesties as they were seriously injured after the beating.

Mamba and Tfwala were not the only maidens who were beaten as four others were thrashed, but were lucky not to sustain any injuries.

The girls said Dlamini assaulted them for no reason. They said he came towards them as they were waiting to enter the main arena.

“I saw him coming towards us. Everyone started running away, but unfortunately I was in the middle and could not run away. It is then when he started beating me. When I asked what I had done he did not say anything, but continued to beat me,” said Mamba.

She was injured on her right leg and had bruises all over the body while Tfwala had bruises all over the body and was bleeding on her back.

Mamba said she did not understand why Dlamini had attacked them as they had not done anything wrong.

Mamba said she was now afraid of coming back next year as the same thing may happen again.

The man in charge of the maidens from Mzimnene, Dumsani Ndzinisa, said what Dlamini did was just uncalled for.

“We are here to ensure that everything goes well. If he had a problem, he should have informed us so that we could try and sort it out. As you can see, the maidens are injured and this is serious. We will report this matter to the elders,” he said.

The imbali leader when approached on the incident said he was not aware that some of the maidens were injured.

“I am not aware of the issue you are talking about. When I see something wrong, I normally warn the maidens. The same thing might have happened here.

“It is just that I was not aware that there were maidens who got injured during the process,” he said.

The injured maidens were first treated by nurses outside the arena before being taken to the clinic where they were treated and discharged.

Dlamini made headlines two years ago when he assaulted Inkhosatana Sikhanyiso allegedly over a sound system.