Dlamini has faced condemnation from within Swaziland and the international community after he said that he wanted to use ‘sipakatane’ (otherwise known as ‘bastinado’, a form of torture that involves flogging the bare soles of a person’s feet with a spiked wooden or metal implement to temporarily or permanently cripple them) on people who campaigned against his government.
Dlamini, who is the placeman of King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, told a group of media editors yesterday (16 September 2010) the statement was meant to ‘shock a certain group of people who wanted to interfere with the sovereignty of the country.
‘We were talking against invasion by people who come to the country and pose as tourists and then try and change the regime,’ he is reported saying.
According to the Times of Swaziland, the only independent daily newspaper in the kingdom, the invaders should not think that they would again be escorted out of the country. He said the invaders should know that when government says it will take stern action it means it.
He said the sipakatane statement was not directed at locals but at foreigners, and said perhaps some locals became panicky because they know that they have been up to no good.
He said, constitutionally, no Swazi or foreigner had the right to change the way the country was governed and he said fortunately the Constitution provided for amendments but said this would be done if necessary and in a constitutional manner.