Tuesday, April 5, 2011


The Swazi Observer is trying to instil fear throughout Swaziland with its false claim that the government ‘will deploy security forces to the country’s different schools next Tuesday to protect pupils and teachers during the proposed uprising’.

It is incorrectly suggesting that children are in danger from protestors during the day dubbed the 12 April Uprising.

Today (5 April 2011), the Observer splashes a huge headline Cops to be deployed in schools on April 12 on its front page.

The Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, says the news of police deployment ‘should come as a relief to parents’ who wanted to know ‘if it would be safe for them to send their children to school’.

But, if you read the report you see that there is nothing to support the Observer’s claim that children are in danger. And nobody actually says that police will be ‘deployed’ in schools.

Pat Muir, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Training , said there was no intention to close schools but should ‘the need arise’ they would deploy security forces.

That’s a long way from saying cops will be deployed.

Muir told the newspaper that if the experience of 18 March (when teachers were among about 8,000 people on a protest march calling on the entire government to resign) was anything to go by there would be no problems on 12 April.

‘Considering that last month during the mass strike action schools operations progressed smoothly and we expect the same even this time around if there would be any action,’ the newspaper reported him saying.

So, no danger to children. No cops deployed in schools. Just King Mswati’s newspaper telling lies to its readers. Again.

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