Percy Simelane, the official Swazi Government spokesperson, said foreign journalists tended to undermine the sovereignty of Swaziland.
The two journalists were detained at the Swaziland – South Africa border on Wednesday (11 April 2012) when they tried to enter the kingdom to cover the prodemocracy protests that were to be held across Swaziland.
Campaigners want democratic reforms in Swaziland, which is ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. Political parties and opposition groups are banned in the kingdom and all broadcast media is censored.
Simelane was speaking on SBIS, the state-controlled radio station. He said, ‘These journalists are on a mission to incriminate the country so that Swaziland is perceived as oppressive in the outside world.’ He added they did not have the government’s permission to report from within Swaziland.
Meanwhile, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Swaziland Chapter, condemned the manner of the journalists’ detention and called on the Swazi government to allow freedom of expression and media freedom.
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