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So the State controlled Times wants Swazis to laugh while being killed by Mswati’s forces?

Monday, 11th April, 2022

When read in its entire context, an article by Times Sunday editor Thobeka Manyathela blamed Swazis for perpetrating violence in the country on social media.

But in the article, there was no mentioning of King Mswati, the Commander-in-Chief of the army and the police service who continues to kill protesting civilians with different political views.

Perhaps, let me bring to the attention of Manyathela that thousands of Swazis have been killed by this regime, directly and indirectly and while mentioning this, the question would be how?

When the police invaded the homes of political activists with guns, many elderly Swazis and other relatives of the activists suffered stroke and died, these are indirect killings linked to the regime.

Editor Manyathela should understand that the killing and torturing of Swazis by this regime intensified in the 80s during the establishment of the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO), subsequently, Swazis with different political views were killed and this, include Sipho Jele who was tortured to death merely for wearing a PUDEMO t-shirt.

Therefore, for an editor of a State controlled newspaper to then accuse the citizens of violence at the time when other Swazis are walking with bullets in their bodies is a direct insult to the Nation.

In fact it confirms that the Times has been, and continues to be an enemy of the people. 

As Swazis, we have lived under oppression for almost fifty(50) years now because newspapers like the Times have  been portraying Mswati as god while political parties like PUDEMO were branded as terrorists organizations.

Before joining the media, I was one of those who loved King Mswati and believed that PUDEMO and its leader, the late Mario Masuku were terrorists because the media influenced me to think that Swazis who advocated for multi-party democracy were terrorists.

Editor Manyathela must know that our parents were terrorized by the police armed with AK47s, demanding to know our whereabouts and we had to fork out money for them to attend counseling sessions.

If that is not violence in the eyes of Times Sunday editor Thobeka Manyathela then, she must be one of the captured editors whose minds were ‘castrated’ by the regime.

It is important for editor Manyathela to know that a person who is a victim of violence particularly that was sponsored by the State, will always use every opportunity to revenge if he or she sees the perpetrator walking on the streets without being arrested.

Swazis are angry and traumatized after the June 2021 massacre, as an editor with a privilege of interviewing some of those who are involved in the destruction of structures I can only remind editor Manyathela that the worse is still coming in this country.

As the media, we have a duty to restore peace and stability by using our pen to put pressure on King Mswati to surrender power to the people.

The Times can try to be soft on Mswati but the fact remains that he was never elected by the people and now he is holding on to power using violence.

It is in this regard that the article written by editor Thobeka Manyathela was just a piece of rubbish, in fact it was hypocrisy by an editor who was afraid of telling  Mswati the truth only to accuse citizens of being violent just because kuyehlela kulamaSwati labulawako?

I hope Swazis and those advocating for democracy will once again find ways of reminding the Times that power belongs to the people. 

An editor who was never tortured by over twenty(20) police officers will always think the Swazis who want democracy are crazy. 

I am one editor who saw the room where Swazis are tortured and killed at the Mbabane Police Station, that’s the room where I was tortured as well.

In conclusion, it is important to remind editor Manyathela that it is this regime that has been killing people with different political views, the burning of structures started recently.

Therefore, to stop this violence, the media must hold the oppressor accountable and demand democracy and then urge the citizens to calm down and give dialogue a chance.

As the situation stands, there is no meaningful dialogue, Mswati is training soldiers and the police to kill more civilians only for a captured editor to accuse frustrated citizens of violence.

So the State controlled Times wants Swazis to laugh while being killed by Mswati’s forces?
Times Sunday editor Thobeka Manyathela.