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Sunday, 9 January 2011


We are told that Swaziland-state broadcaster SBIS has bought a ‘state-of-the-art outside broadcasting unit, costing close to E2 million (US$295,000).

The propaganda outfit will used it to cover ‘various national events including broadcasting live from the reed dance site, the traditional buganu festival, as well as other important national events, which His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Indlovukazi will bless,’ according to a report in the Times of Swaziland.

I see the main purpose is to give yet more coverage to King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.

The unit should allow the propagandists at SBIS to get out and about a bit – which will make a nice change, because in the past they didn’t use to bother.

In case we forget (and personally I think this is a tale worth the re-telling) SBIS was the radio station that took lying to its listeners to new heights (or do I mean depths?).

Remember when SBIS got caught out claiming to be at the Iraq War, when its reporter was still in the office in Mbabane, Swaziland’s capital?

The Committee for the Protection of Journalists reported in 2003 that Phesheya Dube, pretended to broadcast reports from Baghdad, while in fact he never left Swaziland.

‘Making it sound as if he was calling from the war zone, Dube culled all of his information from foreign press and wire service reports. Once the ruse was discovered, Information Minister Ntshangase criticized Dube for making Swaziland “an object of scorn.”

Repeat after me: ‘SBIS, you can’t believe a word they say.’

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