Mantoe Phakathi's blog

Naming and shaming

By Mantoe Phakathi | March 18th, 2014
King Mswati opens new airport and names it after himself

When he launched his – sorry Swaziland’s – brand new airport, King Mswati III was determined to make a clear point to all the detractors who had criticised the project over the years. So in front of the assembled praise-singers and TV cameras, Swaziland’s absolute monarch announced that the ‘state-of-the-art’ facility would be known as the King Mswati III International Airport.

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End of the road for rule of law

By Mantoe Phakathi | January 24th, 2014
Swaziland's rule of law under even greater strain

The bizarre case of Swaziland's detained chief government vehicle inspector, Bhantshana Gwebu, is further evidence that the judicial system has gone to the dogs. While the constitution places King Mswati and the Queen Mother above the law, it now appears that High Court judges feel that they, too, should not be accountable to the very laws that they have sworn to uphold and safeguard.

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Winners and losers in Swazi elections

By Mantoe Phakathi | October 16th, 2013
King Mswati was always going to be the big winner

The fact that only one of the 55 elected seats in Swaziland’s parliament was won by a woman exposes the inefficiency – and inequality – of a system that places the burden getting elected solely on individuals. Indeed, the sole female winner, Esther Dlamini, described this year’s contest as the most difficult she has been participated in and said she was not willing to enter the race in 2018.

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New target for persecution in Swaziland?

By Mantoe Phakathi | August 12th, 2013
Newspaper headline during political persecution saga

When the Swazi Member of Parliament Marwick Khumalo screamed ‘political persecution’ before his recent arrest on fraud charges, the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) showed him no sympathy.

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Swazi judiciary joins attack on media

By Mantoe Phakathi | May 03rd, 2013
Media is seriously censored in Swaziland

The recent conviction of the Nation Magazine and its editor, Bheki Makhubu, for criminal contempt of court proves just how desperate King Mswati’s regime is to maintain the status quo in Swaziland. High Court Judge Bheki Maphalala issued the verdict that sent shock waves throughout the Kingdom and beyond on April 17 based on two articles the magazine published in 2009 criticising the judiciary and the Chief Justice, Michael Ramodibedi.

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