As an organisation against all forms of media freedom violation, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)-Swaziland expresses its great disappointment that hardly a week into the New Year 2013, one of our media practitioners has been severely assaulted by a mob at Machobeni area in the Shiselweni region.
We condemn the violent assault of Swazi Observer journalist Eugene Dube on Friday evening while he was on duty covering a funeral in an area under a chieftaincy dispute.
According to media reports, the angry mob pounced on the journalist when he was busy at work shooting them pictures meting out mob justice to Nhlangano deputy sheriff Pat Jele.
They reported that it happened after the deputy sheriff had produced court papers stopping the funeral of a Tfwala resident in the disputed area. It is further reported that the mob beat him up severely and vandalised his camera after telling him to delete all the pictures.
We thank the borderline patrolling soldiers from the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) who came to his rescue. Dube was rushed to Nhlangano Health Centre, where he was treated for sustained injuries. MISA wishes him a speedy recovery so that he can return to work to continue his work.
We once again take this opportunity to thank the members of USDF for saving his precious life. We trust that when the police complete their investigation justice will take its course. MISA appeals to all members of the public to respect the constitutional right of media practitioners to freedom to communicate information to the public without interference.
Issued by: MISA National Director, Vuyisile Hlatshwayo