|July 26, 2010
Death threats by Prince Mahlaba
Swazi traditional authorities have threatened journalists of the country with death if they continue to write stories, considered by the authorities as undermining the country's leadership and system of government. The death warning came from Prince Mahlaba, brother to King Mswati III and also a member of the King's advisory council, the Swazi National Council Standing Committee (SNC), which is a highly influential body in Swazi politics.
The senior prince issued his warning during the final day of a two-day national dialogue dubbed as Smart Partnership held in Manzini. It was during a question-and-answer session in which the authorities engaged the media in dialogue.
According to a report in the Times of Swaziland newspaper, Prince Mahlaba said he had been monitoring what he believed were clandestine manoeuvres in the media that sought to undermine the country's leadership and system of governance and said that for prolonged periods of time he has been silent hoping that the journalists would come to their senses and stop their 'bad writing'.
The prince said it was now clear that some journalists were hell-bent on destabilising the country and warned that they would die if they persisted. "It is a fact that journalists earn their living by writing lies and if they do not write the lies then their source of livelihood is threatened and this is a fact and beyond debate. I want to warn the media to bury things that have the potential of undermining the country rather than publish all and everything even when such reports are harmful to the country's international image. Journalists who continue to write bad things about the country will die," threatened Prince Mahlaba.