Nelisiwe Shongwe, Swaziland’s Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, has denied that the Swazi Government is censoring BBC radio broadcasts in the kingdom.
As reported yesterday (9 March 2011), Shongwe had told parliament that the Focus on Africa Programme that is broadcast in its entirety on state-run radio, SBIS would in future be ‘edited’ before broadcast.
She was reported saying that as a Swazi nation, people should understand that there were some pieces of information that could not just be sent to the people. She said they had to consider the impact that information would have.
The programme had been kept off the air for several days following two reports by Louise Redvers that allowed Swazi people to voice their opposition to King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
News of the censorship went around the world, prompting Shongwe to issue a statement to the BBC, saying that there was no ‘censorship’. Instead, she said, the Swazi Government wanted to edit out ‘profane’ material and ‘insults’.
The BBC Focus on Africa reported on the controversy yesterday in its 19.00 hrs GMT edition, which isn’t broadcast in Swaziland (even under normal circumstances), To hear the report, click below.
SWAZILAND CENSORS BBC RADIO