Thursday, September 30, 2010


Swaziland is to feature on a London-based radio show that aims to prove the kingdom is ‘Africa’s best kept secret’.

But, instead of revealing to the world the extent of human rights abuses in Swaziland, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, it intends to highlight the ‘peace and safety’ of the kingdom.

Swaziland will be featured as ‘destination of the week’ on the Holiday Show on LBC Radio in London, UK. Producers claim it has one million listeners a week. The show is also broadcasted through various streams on the internet and spreads across the world.

The show will be aired on Sunday 17 October, 2010, from 2 – 4pm UK time.

The show is hosted by Simon Calder, a well-known travel writer in the UK, who has a reputation as an ethical reporter on travel matters. He also works for Sky TV and the Independent newspaper.

Rick Kelsey, one of the reporters on the show, said, ‘More than a show it is a vehicle for countries to be exposed and stimulate tourist inflow into their countries in a very sophisticated manner.’

He said it was a ‘priceless opportunity to be known by travellers who would otherwise have never known or taken time to visit the country’.

I doubt that Kelsey knows that earlier this month Barnabas Dlamini, Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime Minister, threw a number of foreign nationals out of Swaziland because he didn’t like the meeting they were attending. He later said he wanted to target ‘tourists’ who he felt were coming to Swaziland to promote democracy.

These remarks came after Dlamini said he that he wanted to use ‘sipakatane’ (otherwise known as ‘bastinado’, a form of torture that involves flogging the bare soles of a person’s feet) on people from overseas who campaigned against his government.

This was just one of the many human rights abuses in Swaziland that has been highlighted by Amnesty International, Freedom House and the US State Department.

To promote tourism to Swaziland at the present time is to ask people to spend their hard earned money in support a murderous regime that will stop at nothing to maintain its grip on power.

If you would like to tell the programme makers some truths about Swaziland contact:

Simon Calder at

(Independent newspaper)


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