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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

PM ‘WANTED TO SHUT DOWN OBSERVER’

Barnabas Dlamini, Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister, tried to get the Swazi Observer group closed down after the newspapers ran reports critical of him and called for him to resign or be sacked.

Dlamini went to Tibiyo, the company that owns the Observer group on behalf of King Mswati III, but was told to go away.

This has emerged after Musa Ndlangamandla, the Observer group editor-in-chief, revealed on his Facebook site that Dlamini had convinced the king he was a ‘security risk’.

As I reported yesterday (25 July 2011) Ndlangamandla says now the King believes this to be true he has been blacklisted and is not allowed anywhere near the King, who is sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.

Previously, Ndlangamandla had been a key member of the King’s team, accompanying the monarch on overseas’ trips and wrote speeches for him.

Since Ndlangamandla wrote on Facebook his friends have been filling in some of the background.

They say Barnabas Dlamini had become angry because the Swazi Observer had written articles critical of him. These included a series of articles about business deals the PM had been involved in, and his part in a long-running land scam deal, involving senior politicians and members of the Swazi Royal Family.

The Observer newspapers also ran reports from trade unionists and civil society groups calling for Dlamini to resign as Prime Minister.

In a column in his own newspaper Thulani Thwala, the editor of the Observer, called on Dlamini to quit.

Later, Alec Lushaba, the Weekend Observer editor, also said Dlamini must go.

Dlamini was so incensed by the reports he went to Tibiyo which is chaired by Prince Logcogco, who is also chair of Liqoqo the king’s advisory council, demanding Ndlangamandla be fired.

One account also has it that Dlamini demanded the newspapers be closed down.

Logcogco backed Ndlangamandla. At this point, sources say, Dlamini threatened to resign as Prime Minister because he believed Logcogco and Ndlangamandla were out against him.

In March 2011, a report circulated the world that Dlamini had threatened to resign (no specific reason was given). He later denied it. But he did tell the Times Sunday, ‘there were people who were out to ruin him’.

See also

PM SAYS EDITOR IS ‘SECURITY RISK’

http://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2011/07/pm-says-editor-is-security-risk.html

DID SWAZI EDITOR OFFER TO RESIGN?

http://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2011/03/did-swazi-pm-offer-to-resign.html

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