The Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) has accused the Swazi Observer of ‘gutter journalism’ after the newspaper claimed training camps were being held in South Africa to train ‘terrorists’ in ‘bomb making’.
The Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, claimed members of SWAYOCO were being trained at a ‘school of bombs’ in Nelspruit.
SWAYOCO said in a statement, ‘The Swazi Observer has fanned the fire of the politics of fear and through their reports have given the state the moral boost to continue their crackdown and harassment of our members based on fertile imaginations of some rogue journalists whose academic credential and understanding of journalistic ethics leaves a lot to be desired.’
SWAYOCO said the Observer had accused it of being terrorists and bomb makers, but the newspaper had made no effort to get a comment from SWAYOCO, which ‘shows exactly how low the newspaper has sunk and the contempt they have for our organisation.
‘We have repeatedly stated that SWAYOCO is a youth organisation that knows nothing about military combat and we have openly distanced ourselves from any form of terrorism, violence or bandits.’
It accused the Observer of ‘gutter journalism’ and said it had ‘gone on a frenzy in a frantic attempt to give credibility to a discredited fabrication using unnamed sources to try and paint a picture of us as war mongers.’
To see the full SWAYOCO statement, click here.