And still Barnabas Dlamini, the illegally-appointed Prime Minister of Swaziland, refuses to accept he received a medal for his ‘humanitarian’ work from a con man at the head of a sham international organisation.
Dlamini went to the Bahamas earlier this month (October 2010) to get a medal from Rudy King, even though King had been exposed worldwide as a con artist.
Dlamini yesterday (21 October 2010) tried to defend accepting the award by saying King was respected in Swaziland and had been ‘in and out of the country since the century began’.
He told a news conference that the media ‘had sung his praises’ when he wanted to open an office in Swaziland.
Dlamini also said King had previously awarded his medal to other Swazi luminaries. ‘In 2005 he gave an award to a prince (David), gave a medal to Prince Guduza in 2007 and to the prime minister in 2008, so what is the difference now in 2010? His history in Swaziland is rich. This is the fourth medal he has presented to Swazis but now the focus is on 2010.’
I’ll tell Dlamini what the difference is in 2010: somebody took the trouble to make inquiries about Rudy King. I was one of those people (among many others) and I’ll tell Dlamini how we did it.
At the centre of the scandal was an organisation called World Citizen Awards (WCA) headed by King. The Swazi Government had put out a press release saying WCA was to honour Dlamini for the work he was doing for human rights. We knew something was fishy because Dlamini is an enemy of human rights and doesn’t deserve an award.
We went to the Internet and found the website for WCA. On there was a list of trustees who were said to be the backbone of the organisation. Each person listed had a reputation as advocates for human rights and it seemed odd that they would vote to give Dlamini a medal.
We emailed each of the trustees and within hours received a reply from one of them that said he was the victim of a hoax. It turned out that none of the trustees had ever heard of WCA and certainly were not supporters.
The Associated Press (AP) news agency took up the story and realised that the WCA was a sham organisation consisting only of a website and an accommodation address.
Once the AP story hit the Internet, journalists in the Bahamas who knew Rudy King of old ran reports about his background as a con artist.
Dlamini cannot dispute any of these facts. The truth is that Rudy King is a con artist and Dlamini has been taken in. Dlamini was embarrassed by King, but he has humiliated himself by continuing to insist that King and his medal are genuine.
So, in case Dlamini hasn’t quite understood: the reason why 2010 is different. It is because some journalists did their job, which Swazi reporters in previous years did not.