Swazis convict SA man of terror

2012-08-29 22:11

Mbabane - A Swaziland court convicted a South African man of high treason and terrorism on Wednesday over a botched bomb attack against King Mswati III.

High Court Judge Bheki Maphalala found Amos Mbedzi guilty of planning to plant the bomb at a bridge of the Lozitha Royal Palace in the commercial hub Manzini in 2008.

It was intended for Africa's last absolute monarch, who was due to use the bridge for an international trip the same night, but the bomb exploded prematurely in the car they were travelling in.

Mbedzi survived with serious injuries while two others in the car were killed.

The judge also found Mbedzi had been part of the Umbane People's Liberation Army, a secret militant group linked to the People's United Democratic Movement (Pudemo), which sought to undermine elections that year until Swaziland allowed a multi-party vote.

Political parties were banned in 1973 and voters choose candidates approved by traditional leaders and the king.

A series of small bomb blasts rattled the country in 2008, with Umbane claiming responsibility for the attacks.

Following the botched attack, the state proscribed Pudemo and several activists went into exile.

King Mswati III has faced increasing protests in the last few months as the kingdom weathers a severe economic crisis, partly blamed on his lavish lifestyle with his 13 wives.

Authorities have resisted increased demands for democratic reforms, the latest an almost two-month long teachers' strike which has died down in the last two weeks.

  • Squeegee - 2012-08-29 22:55

    Mixed feelings. I don't like either political violence not the PedoKing.

  • thomas.obrian.92 - 2012-08-30 05:53

    The picture says it all. Archaic tribal beliefs mixed with modernised and inherited colonialism . What a circus.

      twellington3 - 2012-08-30 09:47

      Its not archaic beliefs, its our beliefs- even us young africans value it! But I am against his absolute monarchy rule he should be ceremonial. Be warned, don't call my culture archaic

  • carl.lutzer.3 - 2012-08-30 06:37

    Why this fatcat has not been kicked out no one knows - if Ghadaffi can p*ss of his people enough to be killed in public... - this oke is no different - sleep well while you can - your people are coming

      mark.schulz.796 - 2012-08-30 10:03

      Because, in Bantu culture, the royal family is untouchable to commoners. If a commoner lays their hands on a member of the royal family or kills them, then the ancestors will be moved to anger and their wrath will be terrible to behold! Your cows will die and your pap will turn sour. Seriously, this is why Dingane had to do Shaka in, despite him being such a terrible leader for 9 years after his mother, Nandi, died no one would risk killing him. Dingane himself was killed at the hands of a group of Swazis and Nyawo, the former of which are still the recipients of Zulu animosity to this day.

  • willem.dehaan.94 - 2012-08-30 09:19

    So, what is wrong with being an African king in Africa and living African style? Surely president Zuma is doing the same, except he is called a president and has to be elected, but once elected ,,, well, we all read the news and can see for ourselves. Does he not have a number of wives? And does he not wear traditional garb? And does he not dance in traditional tails? So, what is the difference? Maybe the country is bigger and there is more money to go around, but here too the people strike and protest and carry on as if they are unhappy about something (I don't know what since they have the whole country plus "liberation" etc etc and so on) so why pick on poor king Mswati? Only because his country is small?

  • twellington3 - 2012-08-30 09:49

    At least someone tried to do something!!!!

      Sonke Sibiya - 2013-05-08 08:53

      Am 4rm swaziland I lyk 2 see dis man going down mswati he is not goog at all let's face the truth stop being stupid bomkhaya ANC needs our supports even inside swaziland please come out and fight dis matter fances must be cut borders must be off I miss apartheid

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