Monday, May 14, 2012


One of the most significant human rights organisations in Swaziland has called on the Times Sunday to take action against its columnist who wrote hate speech against homosexuals in the newspaper. 

The Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Civic Organisations (the Coalition) condemned the writer Qalakaliboli Dlamini who used words such as ‘satanic’ and ‘evil’ in an article about homosexuals in the kingdom.

Already readers of the newspaper, part of the only independent newspaper group in the kingdom, have condemned the article as ‘pathetic’ and ‘bigoted’. 

Now, Musa Hlophe, coordinator of the Coalition, has written to Mbingo Mbongeni, managing editor of the Times newspapers, to express ‘profound disappointment’ at the publication of the article.

Hlophe, who is also a columnist for the same newspaper, wrote, ‘His use of words such as “satanic” and “evil” to describe the LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexed] community and to say that homosexuality must be stopped are quite simply hate speech and have no place in a newspaper of national record.  Your professional and ethical commitment to openness does not have to extend to giving a national, and international, platform to irrational bigotry, and incitements to hatred.’

Hlophe wrote, ‘We believe that the Times Group must take specific and positive action to rectify this situation, and to tell its readers what those actions are.’

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