Friday, December 2, 2011


A Swaziland man has been arrested for selling DVDs that include songs from the Incwala ceremony.

Timothy Sibandze, who is also a member of the banned people’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), is accused of ‘breaching cultural rules’.

Sibandze, who sells DVDs for a living, was also alleged to have copies of a DVD which included Sipho Jele, the man who died in state custody in 2010 after being arrested for wearing a PUDEMO T-shirt.

The Times of Swaziland reported today (2 December 2011) that Sibandze also had DVDs of an ‘international documentary which prominently features Princess Sikhanyiso’. Once again the Times seems to be misleading its readers as this DVD is almost certainly the documentary Without The King, which includes testimony from a number of people in Swaziland who want to see King Mswati III’s reign as the last absolute monarch in sub-Saharan Africa come to an end.

Sibandze, described by the Times as a ‘former Political Commissar’ of PUDEMO, was taken to Lobamba and then moved to the regional police headquarters.

There are fears that Sibandze may have been targeted by police as no other people selling DVDs (and there are many on the streets in towns all over Swaziland) were arrested.

The Times reported he was released and told to report back to police with his parents and his chief, leading to speculation that he might face banishment from his home if convicted of the crime.

Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Wendy Hleta told the Times the DVDs contained songs which were only supposed to be sung and broadcast during certain periods of the Incwala ceremony.

The Incwala ceremony is taking place in Swaziland at present and King Mswati is at the centre of most of its rituals. Incwala is shrouded in secrecy and although called a ‘national prayer’ by its traditionalist supporters, it has been described as ‘unGodly’ and ‘unChristian’ by some religious leaders.

Incwala has received a ‘bad press’ this week. Yesterday, it was reported that a woman police officer had been suspended from her job and faces exile from her community after she prophesised the end of Incwala while she was ‘speaking in tongues’ at a prayer meeting. It is also reported she uttered words against the king while in her trance.

Earlier this week, a report circulated on the Internet from a witness to past Incwala ceremonies that detailed examples of witchcraft and bestiality involving King Mswati.

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