Saturday, November 19, 2011


African Alliance group has denied that it has loaned the Swaziland Government E1 billion so it can pay public service salaries this month.

Finance Minister Majozi Sithole had announced earlier this week it had raised enough money to cover the salaries for the next four months. Although he did not say how much the loan was worth, four months’ salary would be at least E1.4 billion.

On Thursday, the Swaziland Solidarity Network reported that E1 billion of that money had been raised by Africa Alliance and E400,000 by a company called Interneuron SA.

Now, African Alliance has categorically denied it has raised money for the government.

Tony da Costa, the company's chief executive told the AFP news agency yesterday (18 November 2011), ‘I would like to know where we would find a billion rand to give to the government of Swaziland.’

He added, ‘It is not correct that we are acting on behalf of his majesty. Nor have we ever.’

If African Alliance is telling the truth it begs the question where the money to pay public service wages has come from? The Swazi Government steadfastly refuses to give details of the loan, including its origin, or information about interest rates charged or other loan conditions.

Inevitably, this secrecy is raising doubts about whether the loan actually exists. Public servants are due to receive their pay checks from tomorrow (20 November 2011). First in line for monthly payments are politicians, followed in later days by public service workers. We should find out very soon whether the government has been telling the truth over its availability of funds.

Meanwhile, Interneuron SA has refused to confirm it has raised E400,000 for the government. The Swazi News reported today that Nicholas Balcomb, the Executive Director, told the newspaper it would have to ask the government for details of any loan.

But, the newspaper reports Minister of Finance Sithole also declined to reveal the companies or organisations they were currently talking to regarding financial assistance.

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