Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I highlighted yesterday (26 September 2011) the article in the Times Sunday by leading pro-democracy campaigner Musa Hlophe about the possible fortune Barnabas Dlamini, the Swazi Prime Minister, could have made from owning shares in MTN, the monopoly cellphone operator in Swaziland.

Hlophe wrote about Dlamini’s holdings in Swaziland Empowerment Limited (SEL), which in turn has shares in MTN.

Alas, the Times censored the article before publishing it and left out a very important insight into SEL.

Below is what Hlophe actually wrote – the part in bold was cut out by the Times’ censor.

‘As to who else stands to benefit from SEL’s 19% stake in MTN? It is hard to determine at this stage. The Swaziland Stock Exchange web site does not give us any clues but it does give the address of SEL as Robinson Bertram Lawyers in Mbabane but the email address is for Dlamini at African Alliance in South Africa. African Alliance is a shadowy organization that is alleged to have links to the labadzala who are running this country for their own political and financial benefit. It is fronted by one person who it is hard to conceive could have accumulated all of this capital without powerful friends and investors. His name is not Dlamini.’

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