By: Eugene Dube, Mbabane, Swaziland
A report compiled by the Media Institute for Southern Africa alleged that the All Nations Church pastor, Skhumbuzo Shongwe was protected by King Mswati III’s advisors from being grilled and exposed by the media.
Shongwe is said to be on the run after shooting his wife Jabulile Nkonyane.
The Daily Vendor Newspaper learnt that the painful incident happened yesterday. And he was backed by Royal clique.
A media Institute for Southern Africa(MISA) report reveals that certain Swazi King’s advisors known as the Swazi National Council (SNC) threatened Swazi observer journalists.
The Daily Vendor correspondent learnt that the scribes were told not to report on Skhumbuzo Shongwe’s alleged crimes.
The Swazi Observer however reported this matter to a journalism professional body (MISA).
The report reveals, “Journalists working for the government-owned “Swazi Observer” newspaper are being harassed by authorities following a series of stories the newspaper published concerning the stabbing and beating of a journalist by the son of a prominent church leader in December 2008.”
The church leader Bishop Nash Shongwe is a member of King Mswati’s advisory committee, the Swazi National Council (SNC).
The report states, “One journalist, who declined to be identified for fear of retaliation, told the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Swaziland that they have received ‘disturbing’ calls from authorities who have warned them against the continued publication of stories about the bishop’s son.
The journalist suspected the bishop might have complained to the authorities against the newspaper, which is owned by the King, to influence the censoring of the newspaper.
“Soon after the stories, we received calls, mostly from members of the SNC, warning us against further publication of the stories about the bishop’s son,” said the journalist.
“We are not happy. The authorities have no right to censor us on stories which are of public interest. Moreover, this man has proved to be a public nuisance and does not deserve to be protected,” he added.
It was learnt that the bishop’s son is currently out on bail for attacking and stabbing the “Swazi Observer” news editor, Ackel Zwane, in December 2008. The case is pending before the Magistrate’s court.
According to the report, he also stabbed his ex wife Dudu Nelly Sihlongonyane, who received seven stitches on the body after this attack.