07 May 2008
Thief rapes cop
BY MBONGISENI NHLEKO
MANZINI – A daring thug breached police security and entered their camp where he went on to break into one of the female officers’ houses and later raped her.
The man, aged only 20, has since confessed to the shameful act after he was caught and arrested after also stealing the officer’s belongings.
Jabulani Shongwe yesterday pleaded guilty to the charges for the incident that happened on the night of April 2, 2008.
The officer’s name is known to The Times but ethically will not be disclosed as she is a survivor of a sexual abuse offence. He appeared before Manzini Senior Magistrate David Khumalo charged with two counts.
On the first count, Shongwe is facing a charge of rape. Magistrate Khumalo informed him that he is said to have had sexual intercourse with the complainant without her consent.
On the second count, he is said to have broken into the house occupied by the complainant at Sidvokodvo Junior Brigades’ compound with the intention to steal and then stole a number of items.
These items include a camouflage short, a polo neck, a bag, a green cap, a T-shirt, a tracksuit, a leather jacket, a Nokia cellphone, Craven A cigarettes, foodstuff, bananas, mangoes and fruit juices.
These stolen items were brought to court and the complainant was seen perusing through the bag containing everything.
When his rights to legal representation were explained to him, Shongwe preferred to conduct his own defence.
He pleaded guilty to the charges and prosecuting in this matter was Zeblon Myeni.
At the time of compiling this report, the court had stood the matter, while attending to other cases.
The court was also awaiting a medical report and Magistrate Khumalo advised police officers to ensure that they bring all the necessary evidence when coming to court.
07 May 2008
Swaziland Festival honoured in Madagascar
THE country’s role in promoting cinema in Africa was honoured this week at the island nation of Madagascar when James Hall, Director of the Gold Lion Film Festival, was commended at the 3rd Madagascar Film Festival.
The festival was held at the Madagascan capital, Antananarivo.
Stephane Bou, Director of the Madagascar Film Festival, said when he introduced Hall to the audience on stage at the closing of the festival, “I cannot express all the profound feelings l had during your stay in Madagascar. You’ve been really helpful for all the young Malagasy filmmakers. I hope we’ll manage to continue and to organise the development of cinema over here. And I really hope that we’ll manage to build regional projects.”
Hall was asked to present an award for ‘Best New Malagasy Filmmaker’. The recipient was Mamitiana Randrianarisoa, who won for the first film he submitted to the festival.
Hall was also invited on stage to speak about the state of filmmaking in Swaziland, and to make comparisons with what he discovered in Madagascar.
A film directed by Hall was shown, entitled ‘Swazi Warriors Discover French Wine’. This was the first screening of the film after it was awarded the Raymond Ferrand Prize for Best Comedy at the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival in France.
The film was received with laughter and applause in Madagascar.
“I was happily surprised. I was afraid that the film might be too specific to Clermont-Ferrand, and that other audiences might not appreciate the jokes. But the audience in Antananarivo accepted it as a complete film, which shows it has 'egs,' as they say in showbiz,” said Hall.
Swaziland’s own festival goers will benefit from the trip, which was sponsored by the Foreign Ministry of the Government of France and arranged by Vincent Garrigues, Cultural Attache for TV, Film, Visual Arts and e-Media with the French Embassy in Pretoria.
Alliance Francaise du Madagascar was the principal sponsor of the Madagascar Film Festival.
Alliance Francaise du Swaziland has been a supporter of the Gold Lion Film Festival.
Several Madagascan filmmakers have submitted their films for showing at the Gold Lion Film Festival in October.
“These films are imaginative and very instructive for people in Swaziland who wish to become filmmakers.
The films are simple, done at no cost and they capture the attitudes and essence of contemporary Malagasy people. Such films should be done by and about Swazis,” said Hall.
The Gold Lion Film Festival is held annually, on the third week of October.
07 May 2008
Airlink passengers treated badly
By Musa Ndlangamandla
IN a first, 25 passengers on board Swaziland Airlink refused to disembark from the aeroplane demanding an explanation from management concerning what they termed bad service.
As a result, the next flight from Matsapha to Johannesburg was delayed for 30 minutes in the fiasco.
The passengers claimed that they were abandoned at OR Tambo International Airport with no food, water or a proper place to put up at night.
This followed an embarrassing incident where the aeroplane had to be flown back to Johannesburg after it failed to land at Matsapha International Airport because personnel from the Fire and Emergency Services had already knocked off.
One of the passengers was an 82- year- old woman who had flown from Perth in Australia and was visiting the country for the first time.
What worsened matters, it was claimed, was that the lady had flown for over 28 hours and could not take her medication.
One of the passengers, a potential investor from a Middle-East country, vowed to sue the airline for what he was made to go through.
He spoke to Swazi Observer from his hotel room on Saturday morning and did not hide his displeasure at the incident.
“We were flown back to Johannesburg and we got to OR Tambo International Airport at around 10pm. The captain told us that he was calling the Airlink offices so that they could dispatch an official to assist the passengers. Someone came in a bus she said she could only take us from the runway to the terminal building. She turned out to be an official from South African Airways (SAA) and she told us that she had nothing to do with the episode. She said Airlink had fulfilled its duty and had no further obligations,” said the prospective investor, who asked not to be named.
He accused the captain of having misled the passengers, leading to the cold, hungry night inside the hallow terminal of O.R.Tambo International Airport.
“How could they say they fulfilled their obligation when they took us to Swaziland and then could not land and had to take us back to Johannesburg. First of all, it was them who delayed departure from OR Tambo International, had they been on time they would have found the Swaziland airport still open,” he said.
He said they were given no phone number of an airline official on duty, did not find the airport duty manager and that the lady from SAA and the crew disappeared on them.
“We did not have access to our luggage, which was lock in the plane and we did not have passports. When we approached the immigration officials at OR Tambo International Airport, we could not be helped, nor allowed to pass through. He wondered where we surfaced from and could not help us. This is pathetic and I will sue. We were given the wrong information. Is this the kind of service we want to give to first time visitors to Swaziland?,” he wondered.
Swaziland Airlink Manager Teddy Mavuso apologised to passengers for the incident and called on all the affected people to contact the airline’s customer care services at email@example.com. He said he got information to the effect that the passengers initially declined to disembark from the aircraft.
“All I can confirm is that at OR Tambo International the ground handling is done by employees of SAA. I will investigate this matter further and I wish to encourage all the people who were affected to contact us and to register their formal complaints.
What I did yesterday was call our Johannesburg airport to alert them. We collectively agreed to investigate. We do not know what happened and if there is no complaint our efforts to get to the bottom of the problem will face difficulty. All I can say is that if there was something bad that happened outside the scope of Swaziland Airlink we apologise,” Mavuso said.