Detained journalists covering Swaziland marches

2012-04-11 14:23

Johannesburg - Two journalists have been detained in Swaziland, eNews Africa editor Chris Maroleng said on Wednesday.

The Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) - a coalition of progressive organisations inside Swaziland - condemned the incident.

The SDC said the journalists were confronted at the Oshoek border post and then escorted to Mbabane, where their equipment was confiscated.

"The crew was on its way to report about the marches taking place in Swaziland to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the 1973 king's decree that... enslaved and imprisoned Swazis."

"I can confirm that two of our journalists were detained at a roadblock outside Mbabane shortly after 09:00 today," he said.

"What we are aware of is that the two are currently being questioned at a police station in the capital."

The passports of journalist Tumaole Mohlaoli and cameraman Meshack Dube were confiscated.

"They have been told that they are not under arrest, they are just being detained," said Maroleng.

No reason was given for this.

He said eNews Africa was monitoring the developments.

"We are committed to media freedom and we hope that the Swazi authorities will respect the basic human rights of our crew, who were deployed on a legitimate story to cover the activities in Swaziland."

It was unclear if their equipment was also seized.

"We demand freedom of expression and the right for journalists to freely cover the events in Swaziland, so that the world can know that the myth of a peaceful country, unquestioningly accepting royal autocracy in the name of Swazi culture, is a fallacy and lie," the SDC said in a statement.

  • francois.roux1 - 2012-04-11 14:56

    How's that for thanks for a how many billion bailout loan? Boggles the mind...

  • lydonmcg - 2012-04-11 14:58 makes sense to detain journalists and draw even more attention to whatever you didn't want them covering. Proceed, numbnuts.

  • Phumi - 2012-04-11 15:03

    Freedom of expression is only a law applicable in South Africa and not in Swaziland. Whey you are in that country you have to respect its sovereignity and laws. It doesnt matter how irrelevent economically Swaziland is but as a sovereign state it should be respected. If e-tv had no work permit there or any relevent documantation those authorities have every right to detain them for security breach!

      Hermann - 2012-04-11 15:18

      Swaziland is more oppressive than sovereign - it can'e even generate its own sovereign economy.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-04-11 16:17

      Let's hope that the SA government won't allow another Mugaba or another gaddafi, on its doorstep. As we have seen in Tunesia, Egypt, Libya, and now Syria; the days that countries are run by ones who believe the country belongs to them and their families, is coming fast to an end. The AU should impose "selected" sanctions against this "tyrant in the making" and his family !!!

      Thando - 2012-04-11 16:20

      For once i agree wit u on principle. Th swazi's mst revolt if thy want change.......

  • Ricky - 2012-04-11 15:06

    We should invade swaziland,confiscate all the "swazi gold",force the entire population into dope farming for south african exports.That way at least the swazi's will have some worth and contribute something to the world. Nation of losers licking a monarchs rear end.

  • Merror - 2012-04-11 15:17

    Now everyone can see how stupid that country is. What do they think they will achieve with this. They can suppress people but oneday they will free themselves. Mswati must understand that times are changing and his time off suppression is over.

  • Hermann - 2012-04-11 15:17

    And Zuma criticises Afro-pessimism!!

  • phathuchicos - 2012-04-11 15:28

    R2.4 billion for this kind of rubbish from a country that we easily squash in to become our new province...

  • Sanele - 2012-04-11 16:00

    Atleast the world will now know what is happening in sd. I like my country but im not entirely satisfied with the system of government.

      Thando - 2012-04-11 16:25

      Sanele u really qualifyng wht i always say bwt swaz's......thy r satisfied wit th Kings decree's thr......i get it whn u say 'entirely'

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-04-11 16:47

    This "king" boasts that he is the second richest "king" in the world. His people are very poor. Where does he get his money from? This "king" entertained the gadhaffi thing when this was down in Durban for the AU. The roads in Durban had to be specially widened to accommodate the extra long limo's of gadhaffi and mugabe. These limo's were extra big to accommodate the very large ego's of these things. When this mswati "king" heard that gadhaffi has such a nice aircraft, mswati decided he wants one too. So he took the Swazi health budget. This mswati "king" recently "borrowed" something like R1.2bn from S.A. and then demanded R500m as commission for himself. This is a useles leech with which his people are much better off without. If I were the S.A. President I would demand my citizens be released immediately, and if not safely back in S.A. within six hours, I would send in my special forces to fetch them.

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