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Journalists are not always right,public must criticize and hold us accountable.

Friday, 4th March, 2022

As popularity grows, it is easy for us as journalists to mislead ourselves into thinking we are always right but the truth is, we are not.

I am writing this article based on an audio shared by Hosea Indvuna yeNkhundla Richard Vilane who was complaining about an article written by me, he said he was not happy with some contents of the article but can’t do anything because I am a popular journalist.

Let me bring to the attention of Vilane and the Nation that I don’t write articles to settle scores and destroy people but I always strive to act in the public interest and provide the public with accurate information.

Even though I am popular as some citizens perceive me, I cannot claim to know everything and I sometimes make mistakes and I don’t wish to be referred to as “Mr Right”.

It is for these reasons, we engaged with Mr Vilane on Thursday evening and I promised to publish another story stating his side after failing to get hold of him him before publishing.

Vilane did not deny receiving R100,000.00 from Mswati’s Government but clarified that he was not a sellout as he continued to support the struggle in many ways, after all, he was entitled to have his side of the story published.

Now, for Richard Vilane to release an audio clarifying the story saying he can’t do anything to me because I am popular means he doesn’t understand the duties and roles of journalists.

As a journalist, I have an obligation to publish a factual and  balanced story and where I have erred, I must apologize to those affected including the Nation.

Popularity doesn’t mean a journalist can just wake-up and scandalize people with impunity.

Richard Vilane is known to me as a strong supporter of the struggle for democracy but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have reported that he received money from the Youth Fund.

Vilane responses that he received the money before the political unrest is understandable and we know that the Government might have decided to play the video to neutralize him in his fight for democracy.

In conclusion, let me assure Vilane that receiving a loan from the Youth Fund is not, in any way, a problem, it’s just that it was a story for us as journalists. 

 Other political activists received scholarships from Government, salaries, land from Chiefs but continue protesting. As Vilane clarified, these are our benefits as Swazis and taxpayers and receiving these benefits doesn’t mean those who were lucky to receive are sellouts.

It’s very unfortunate if the story was written in a manner that portrayed Vilane as a sellout, that was not the intention, the intention was to report a story of public interest.

Let me re-assure the citizens and public figures that as an editor, I will never perceive myself as popular as per Vilane’s sentiments, we are serving the public and must account for every word we publish.


Journalists are not always right,public must criticize and hold us accountable.
Hosea Indvuna Richard Vilane.