Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Somebody is having a laugh: the trouble is I’m not sure who it is.

It is reported that the brave Swazi Army was attacked by demons and 500 soldier recruits had to be sent home to recover.

The demons were ‘evil spirits’ and created ‘hysteria’ among the army personnel.

The Swazi Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, took this information at face value and made it the paper’s main front page story today (4 January 2011).

The paper reports that the demons struck at Mbuluzi Barracks just before Christmas and the ‘hysterical’ soldiers were released to spend the holiday season with their families.

It all started when one woman recruit ‘suffered an attack’ from the demons and ‘screamed out loud like she was seeing weird creatures’, the Observer reports.

Then a lot more women behaved the same way and screamed and spoke in tongues.

The Observer reports that a day later the demons attacked male recruits and as with the female recruits they also screamed and some attempted to run away.

It was then that the army priests were called because the administration feared that the situation might get out of hand.

After they were all prayed for, army headquarters sent the recruits home for a week.

Well you can knock me down with a feather. What a great trick by the recruits to get an extra week’s holiday and just how gullible are the army commanders who let them get away with it?

It gets worse. Because it seems no one at the Army even thought for a moment that they were being taken for a ride.

The Observer quotes an anonymous ‘highly placed source’ who said the Army really got worried once the male soldiers were also attacked.

The source said, ‘We all know that hysteria normally attacks women, but it was not the case at Mbuluzi.’

Army Public Relations Officer Major Khanya Dlamini confirmed the story, but said there was nothing to worry about. The army believed in prayer more than anything and so were not shaken by the attacks, he told the Observer.

‘Even though we knew that the recruits were somehow in danger, we were ready to fight the attacks through prayer and be successful; we believe in prayer.’

Dlamini added that they had no alternative but to suspend classes as well as physical training for the recruits.

The Observer said, ‘He assured parents of the over 500 recruits and the nation at large that even though the aspirant soldiers had not been training for almost two weeks they would be able to catch up.

The recruits returned to barracks after the New Year. ‘It is business as usual for the recruits and they are lucky to rest for such a long period as this was the first time for recruits to get so many days off,’ Dlamini said.

So you tell me: who is a having a laugh? Is it the recruits who pulled a trick to get an extra Christmas holiday? The Army commander who let them do it? The Army PRO who reckons that prayer saved the day? Or is it the Swazi Observer for going along with the story?

What? You don’t believe it is a joke. You think everybody involved in the story really believes the recruits were attacked by demons.

No, that can’t be the case. Swaziland is fast becoming a ‘First World’ nation. Remember? King Mswati told us so.

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