Monday, October 17, 2011


Daily Sun, South Africa

17 October 2011

The following editorial comment appeared on page 8 of today’s newspaper.

King Mswati 111 is the real disaster!

The sweet music of a matured single malt whisky as it lands on ice is bewildering. But then, the thought of angels dancing gracefully as each drop turns the breaking of ice into music, is heavenly.

The delightful dance and sweet music is a welcome break in a world we share with despots like King Mswati III.

I would really like to know what this man drinks. Now more than ever, I’m convinced that the liquid this man consumes has done terrible and irreparable damage to his brain cells. And the people who surround him have shown an amazing appetite for all that, is stupid and unreasonable.

Mswati, who rules over a country that does a death tango with abject poverty, finds it a challenge to agree to the terms put by South Africa on the R2, 4 billion bailout loan. The king prefers to take the money without any conditions attached!

For some thinks he can just extend his undemocratic royal hand and take our cash. Well, he can't. Not, now, not ever.

In the real world, which you, Your Highness, might not be familiar with, loans always come with terms and conditions. You don't just grab the money and run, singing a happy song as you disappear into the mountains. Not unless you are a thief, of course...

Sometime in August, the South African government announced that it would provide the R2,4 billion which Swaziland requested, but to date Mswati has not laid his royal hands on it. He and his royal gang are scared of signing on the dotted line because the billions come dragging with them political reform conditions.

Some of these conditions involve the decentralization of powers from controversial Tinkundla political system. This system puts almost all power in the hands of the monarchy and to a very limited extent, the chiefs who are ever willing to kiss the king's behind anyway.

The loan conditions, unacceptable to the monarchy, are not apologetic when they call for the unbanning of political parties. The document which Swazi rulers refuse to sign contains 'laying key milestones and timelines to agreed political reforms'.

Word is, some chap called Prince Mahlaba, a senior member of King Mswati's advisory council, is one of those who are not charmed by the bailout loan conditions. He is reported to have said 'God gave us Tinkundla and we won't trade it for R2, 4 billion. The monarch should be praised for preserving peace'.

Preserving peace, my foot. The only way to preserve peace is for immediate political reforms in that country. I ask again, what does King Mswati and his cohorts drink?

With his royal mouth, Mswati uttered the following 'our financial crisis is a man-made disaster, which is somehow different from similar problems that face the world'.

How true! It is pity that he does not realize that he is a disaster.

Lucky Lukhele, spokesman of the SNN, put it better when he said 'the king is the biggest financial drain to the country as he and his family continues to spend the country's resources lavishly in the midst of abject poverty'.

To President Zuma I say, let Mswati go fly a kite if he is not prepared to agree to the terms and conditions of the loan.

Give him nothing

Themba Khumalo

Daily Sun and Sunday Sun


No comments: