Media freedom advocates in Swaziland have called on Prince Mahlaba to be censured after he said journalists who criticise the Swazi elite will die.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa Swaziland Chapter (MISA) has called on Barnabas Dlamini, the kingdom’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister to call Prince Mahlaba to order.
MISA strongly condemned the threat from the prince and now calls on him to publicly withdraw it.
MISA said the prince’s statement at the Smart Partnership meeting this week was ‘not only dangerous and uncalled for, but also completely out of place and seriously undermines press freedom.
‘Coming from a prince and a senior advisor to the King, the threat has the potential to intimidate the media and instil further fear in the newsrooms. Already the Swazi media is operating under a hostile environment characterized by imposed and self-censorship. Such statements by the prince only worsen the situation.’
MISA is demanding that the Prime Minister publicly call the prince to order ‘as his statement not only instigates violence against journalists but is also against the spirit of the constitution which encourages freedom of expression and the media’.