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Percy slams disrespectful foreign journalists

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MBABANE - Government Press Secretary Percy Sim-elane says foreign journalists who come to the country without accreditation are disrespecting the country.

Simelane said certain people have a tendency of undermining the sovereignty of the country because of its small size.

The government spokesperson was speaking on national radio yesterday following circulating reports that two journalists from e.tv, who had come to cover the teachers’ protest march which was cancelled by a court order, were mistreated by police.

The journalists were allegedly detained for questioning on arrival in the country on Wednesday.

"These journalists are on a mission to incriminate the country so that Swaziland is perceived as oppressive in the outside world," he said.

Simelane said journalism ethics and practices stipulate that journ-alists should first seek accreditation before plying their trade in a foreign country.

He quoted certain incidents whereby journalists from the national broadcaster, SBIS, were disallowed to cover certain events outside the country, because they lacked the required accreditation.

Simelane, who is a former SBIS journalist and director, revealed that when journalists from the station went to South Africa to cover the ceremony when erstwhile President Nelson Mandela was officially installed as president of the country, they were not allowed to cover the event because they did not have accreditation.

Simelane warned that it was dangerous for foreign journalists to work in other countries without getting accreditation.

"Getting accreditation is easy. One can apply online," he said.


Percy was never a journalist in the true sense of the word. He was a radio-play voice actor. He doesn't even have a qualification in journalism. But my question is: Foreign journalists who come to cover royal activities like Umhlanga are never harassed about lacking accreditation. I know many who have covered such events without accreditation. Surely these are double standards.
Apr 13, 2012, 2:31 AM, Jack Manzini (unclejack@yahoo.com)



I do not have a lot to say to you Mr Percy because I believe that you are among the many people currently in government who know very well what is going on around here. All I want to do is to appeal to your conscience. Maybe this will be hard given that you are getting a lot out of the government system in its current state but nonetheless I can only hope that you, like every other Swazi, are very much concerned about the state of affairs of the kingdom. You are very much aware of how difficult life has become for the common Swazi. While you sit there in that comfy office which is probably air- conditioned, 70% of your people are languishing in poverty, absolute poverty for that matter. And what is your government doing? Nothing, except brutally oppressing those who have chosen to speak for those who can not speak for themselves. Where then is the wonderful image you want these journalists to portray. Take them to your backyard then because on the streets they will find the truth. One day you will have to answer for all these actions even down to the last word because things will never stay the same.
Apr 13, 2012, 2:31 AM, Disgusted

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