Does the Swaziland Government have a secret benefactor to bail it out of its economic crisis?
It looks like a planeload of cash arrived in Swaziland on Friday (4 March 2011) and was unloaded at Matsapha Airport by members of the Swazi paramilitary wing, the Operational Support Services Unit (OSSU).
The offloading of the money was supervised by heavily-armed police. It took a longhorse-and-trailer truck with three containers to take the money away to the Central Bank of Swaziland in Mbabane.
Below is a report from the Times Sunday, an independent newspaper in the kingdom. The report only appeared in the print edition and not online.
6 March 2011
WHAT WAS IN THAT TRUCK?
Mbabane - Officers of the Kingdom's paramilitary wing, OSSU, offloaded a large batch of unidentified cargo from a large aircraft at Matsapha International Airport last Friday.
OSSU stands for Operational Support Services Unit and is under the Royal Swaziland Police (RSP)
When the four jet-engine powered aircraft landed at the airport around noon, it was an instant attraction to a number of people there at the time.
According to an eye witness who preferred only to identify himself as Gamedze, the plane, which was white in colour, did not park in the front of the airport but at the back, adjacent to the runway.
"Airport visitors watched from a distance as OSSU officers were busy offloading and then loading the cargo into a longhorse-and-trailer truck with three containers" said Gamedze
He said that the aircraft left about two hours later.
Work still continued when the Times SUNDAY arrived at the airport. What was also conspicuous was that the loading and offloading zone was guarded by heavily armed police officers. The cargo was eventually transported to the Central Bank of Swaziland in the capital later in the evening.
Superintendent Wendy Hleta, Police PRO, said this was nothing different from the daily operations of OSSU.
For security reasons, Hleta could not divulge what was being escorted or its destination.
Jabulani Ngubane, Airport Manager, when reached for comment said the fact that OSSU officers were there possibly meant that the cargo was money.
"It's not unusual for OSSU to escort money on behalf of financial institutions like the Central Bank of Swaziland" he said
He added that the slightly unusual thing was that the plane was huge.
Sibusiso Mngadi, Central Bank's Communications Manager, said the activities of OSSU at the bank were highly classified information and cannot be given to the media.