Bigwigs set the record straight
MBABANE- The Royal Swazi Sugar Corporation (RSSC) top managers travelled to Mbabane from the sugar belt to address the media yesterday to reiterate their commitment to resolving the disappearance of employee Lucky Sifundza.
"We are shocked and dismayed by this event. We empathise with and acknowledge the trauma Mr Sifundza’s family is experiencing. During this difficult time, we must respect their position while complying with due processes of the law," said Nick Jackson, RSSC MD.
The MD was with the Group HR Manager, Lomkhosi Magagula, and they met with the Times Managing Editor Mbongeni Mbingo and News Editor Nathi Gule.
Also present at the meeting were two other individuals one of whom was said to be a media relations expert from South Africa. During the meeting the ME Mbingo emphasised the need for the nation to be kept up to date with information with regard to Sifundza’s disappearance and acknowledged RSSC’s response of the meeting.
Jackson cut a solemn figure as he constantly kept reiterating that the company’s wish was for the issue to be resolved.
"There is nothing we will hide and we will keep the nation updated as soon as we have anything conclusive to report back on," he said.
More than once he expressed that they had always harboured the belief that Sifundza would resurface alive because they value their employees greatly and placed great emphasis on their safety and protection. He and Magagula pleaded with the nation to be patient as the investigations continue.
"It must also be understood that we are talking about a human life here so there has to be a great deal of sensitivity when discussing this issue. The family is going through a very difficult time and we sympathise with them," he said.
Magagula supported the MD and added that they hope that the investigations would provide some answers.
"RSSC continues to support the search for Sifundza, and pledges to keep all our stakeholders informed of any developments," she said.
‘We thought he was AWOL’
MBABANE – The Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation Managing Director Nick Jackson said they harboured hope that Lucky Sifundza would walk back into the company about a day after his disappearance.
He said there was disbelief at first that anything harmful may have occurred to him and there was a belief that he may have left the company without clocking out as it had happened in the past with other workers.
"There was no proof that he may have fallen into the machine as some feared and there was also no proof that he left the company so there was generally that hope that perhaps he would come back," he said.
Jackson said he particularly had some sleepless nights as they worked towards resolving this issue.
‘For him safety was key’
MBABANE – The missing Lucky Sifundza was one of the key people when it came to safety advice at the workplace.
This was disclosed by Managing Director Nick Jackson who said that was one of the reasons they were struggling to believe that he may have fallen into the mill.
"He recently gave the other employees a talk on safety and even as you go about the mill you will see that there are safety measures put for the employees. Even pupils come here for tours. It is hard to comprehend what may have led to his disappearance however we will leave that to the probe team to uncover," he said.
Sugar is OK!
MBABANE – The Royal Swazi Sugar Corporation (RSSC) has assured the nation that there is no chance that the sugar could be contaminated.
Nick Jackson, the RSSC MD, said as a precautionary measure, RSSC had recalled and quarantined all its products manufactured on the day of Sifundza’s disappearance. Jackson also said they had sent sugar samples to Pretoria in South Africa to be tested as an extra precautionary measure.
"We would like to dispel such perception because there is no chance of any contamination. We also sought independent advice and we got the same response. The process of purification and separation is intense and despite that we isolated all the sugar manufactured on that day," he said.
Jackson explained that the process of the sugar manufacturing was such that the monitoring was quite detailed. "We monitor the process very closely and we have hourly records so there is full traceability to ensure that we know our operations in case there is any product recall," he assured.
Jackson said consumers should rest assured of product quality.
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