Thursday, September 19, 2002
His Majesty King Mswati II
The King of Swaziland
CC The Hon. Prime Minister
Houses of Parliament
Mr. Bheki Dlamini
Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority
Tel (09268) 4040470
Cel (09268) 602 0861
The Swazi Times
RE Farm Johannes loop No 19 Mahamba Mountains
1) As your majesty is no doubt aware from the extensive media coverage over many years now, various CONSENT orders between myself and various members of your cabinet for the eviction of illegal squatters from the abovementioned privately owned farm were obtained from the High Court of Swaziland from July to October 2001.
2) The recalcitrant manner in which the eviction has been delayed, interfered with and thwarted through political intrigue, manipulation and inaction is now so legend that the illegal squatters are alleging that your majesty has in fact taken all the necessary steps possible to stop the eviction from behind the scenes.
3) What is more is that they allege that your majesty has ensured that I will never be able to occupy the farm again and that I will in fact be arrested should I ever enter Swaziland again.
4) I must take this allegation seriously since the Police at Gege have informed the legal squatters on the farm that there is indeed a warrant out for my arrest.
5) Whilst on this topic it bears mentioning that a High Court CONSENT order between myself, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Police and the illegal squatters themselves was obtained ordering the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to personally prosecute all cases by and against me.
i) The DPP duly performed in terms of the order and ordered the prosecutor at Nhlangano to refer all the cases to him.
ii) In addition to the above, a case that was brought against me for “assault for threatening to arrest” was declared nule prosecue by the DPP because it was unfounded and malicious (as indeed alleged before the High Court in the application giving rise to the Consent order in question).
(a) By way of background, that matter was brought against me when I acted in terms of another CONSENT order between myself, the Royal Swazi Police and the Minister of Agriculture, which order interdicted the destruction by the illegal squatters of protected species of trees on the property. Whilst trying to enforce my rights in terms of that order, members of the Gege Police obstructed the process of justice by stopping me from enforcing these rights and I was left no alternative to lay charges against them for their actions. Whilst the case against the Police has to this day not been prosecuted, I was prosecuted with a summons for the alleged “assault” within a few days. This then gave rise to the application and the consent order regarding the DPP. I might just add that a case against the illegal squatters for attacking tourists to the area (which is backed by video footage and sworn affidavits from the tourists that were attacked) way back in 2000, has also not yet been prosecuted.
6) The illegal squatters now allege that all of this and especially the warrant for my arrest has been orchestrated by your majesty with the help of the local chief and witchdoctor, inter alia because of my plans to set up an Accelerated Christian Education school on the farm.
7) To date my attorneys in Swaziland have not been able to get any resolve in the matter.
8) Despite the existence of no less than two Consent Orders between myself, the Royal Swaziland police, the Minister of Justice, the Regional Secretary and the illegal squatters themselves issued by the High Court of Swaziland interdicting the burning down of the farm, has again been disobeyed as the farm has again been burnt down.
9) Furthermore, I am at pains to point out that in the course of obtaining all of the abovementioned CONSENT orders, I made two offers of land (one of some 300 ha and another of some 500 ha) to the illegal squatters, together with the opportunity of entering into standard Farm Dwellers agreements as provided by the Farm Dwellers Act even though the court found that they were not entitled to such offers.
10) Needless to say the current situation is totally unacceptable, especially in the light of the situation in Zimbabwe.
11) By December last year it was clear to anyone with even a modicum of intelligence, that every attempt was being made to stifle the CONSENT orders between the members of your cabinet and myself that were issued by the High Court of Swaziland, as such through political intrigue.
12) As a result, since January this year I decided to concentrate my efforts at developing countries in the third world, in South Africa as opposed to in Swaziland. In the last 9 months I have been mandated to attend to the Strategic Planning of some R 1,4 Bil of projects in the agriculture, education and building industries in South Africa. A cursory study of the following web pages will graphically illustrate the details of these projects, most of which comprise joint ventures between the private sector and the government for development in the agricultural sector and the empowerment of the previously unemployed members of the agricultural sector. The web pages are www.gili.co.za and www.izak.co.za respectively.
13) On the contrary the E 114 mil project for a dam to feed an organic irrigation project in Swaziland was destroyed by the corrupt action of one of your Cabinet Ministers in that it came to the attention of the International Financiers that he had made an attempted to obtain the farm for himself through the deeds office. The fact that the deeds office official did not acquiesce to his demands obviously did nothing to dispel the mistrust that was sown in the international banking fraternity. Another project of some E 40 mil for the development of an export market for organic beef was also aborted because your majesty’s financial wing TIBIYO would not sign the standard International Chamber of Commerce’s Intellectual Property and Non Circumvention agreement, thus sending a clear signal that they wished not to be constrained against the abuses of intellectual property rights and circumvention.
14) Because of my International Accreditation and track record I meet on a regular basis with Foreign Direct Investors, International bankers, the CEO’s of various UN aid agencies, delegates from the European Union, foreign missions, consulates and the like and must repeatedly listen to how these influential entities and individuals proclaim their reluctance to get involved in Swaziland because of the high levels of political intrigue, interference with projects and legal instability of Swaziland. What with my experiences thus far it is also expected of me to make full and frank disclosure of investment risks in any country in which I am active. As things stand I can impossibly be expected to paint anything but a dim picture, even if this seriously prejudices my chances of getting funding for any of the projects I have designed for Swaziland.
15) Despite having repeatedly tried to gain access to your majesty over the last few years I have had no success because every attempt at doing so has been stifled. I have submitted numerous reports to your majesty through numerous members of you cabinet and even members of your family. Thus far I have been effectively stonewalled. There is no indication as to whether this is because the reports were kept from you majesty or whether your majesty simply ignored them. Countless reports in the media also failed to attract any attention from your majesty. It is all but impossible to believe that a King of a country of less than a million people can after all this time be unaware of what is going on in his country, especially with regards to such a highly publicized issue. Moreover any and all E-mails and Faxes sent to the Prime Minister’s office have also been ignored.
16) Since the situation has now well exceeded intolerable levels and since the time for open and frank disclosure from the leadership of the country is now well overdue, this letter in its open and as such media publicized format, has now become an utmost necessity.
17) This letter has not taken into account the many other negative scenarios that have in the past and at present comprise manifestations of similar problems. It would therefore be expedient, if your majesty will not only make clear disclosure of what Swaziland’s standpoint is on the issues raised herein but that evidence be produced of EFFECTIVE ACTIONS to remedy the most unacceptable and deplorable situation exposed herein.
18) It will be noted that this open letter has been transmitted to international media, investment and banking community alike. Accordingly, the response to this letter will without a doubt have long term implications on how Swaziland is viewed as a haven to invest into. I sincerely hope that a response to this letter will take into the account the interests of the many people in Swaziland that are presently missing out on sustainable development because of the situation exposed in this letter.
For the sake of all the Swazi’s that would like to see their country develop into a manifestly safe haven for Foreign Direct Investment as opposed to one that manifests the opposite, I trust that a response will be forthcoming in due course.
Typically I received no response whatsoever from the letter. There is an established legal principal that when someone refuses to answer an allegation silent consent is given.
Since then, Swaziland has come under international condemnation, international investment and aid has all but disappeared and the country has lapsed into such financial ruin that more than a third of the people are headed for starvation and the aids pandemic is all but out of control.
When the King does answer allegations they are a few days late and so laced with political rhetoric that no it is not taken seriously by the international community.
My farm manager, Mr. Almon Dlamini returned to the farm a few days ago to see his wife and children after spending time in South Africa (in exile from the squatters that invaded my farm). He had to flee for his life again and this time from people bearing firearms.
In the mean time I cannot return to Swaziland because the Gege police informed Mr. Dlamini that they have a warrant out for my arrest. The nations director of prosecutions last year already dismissed the case they use for this, because it was totally unfounded and highly malicious. So also was the opinion of the judge that presided in an application that granted an order that the DPP take all the cases by Mr. Dlamini and myself against the squatters because of bias, inactivity and partisanship shown by the prosecutor in Nhlangano on the side of the squatters.
The last sheriff that tried to act on the orders of court to evict the squatters ended up in jail on some charge dug up from the past.
How long will it take before the King allows law and order to be re-established in Swaziland? How long before he realizes what damage it has and still will cause Swaziland? What, will this misguided attitude be allowed to ruin an entire country and the lives of so many people?
This letter is now published so as to openly challenge his majesty, the King of Swaziland to deal with this situation in an open transparent and fair manner.
The illegal squatters have started attacking the wives and children of those who legally abide on the property. My manager has had to flee the country because the King seems to be backing the hoodlums that have overrun the farm. His wife also had to flee for her life after being assaulted by the illegal squatters who boldly rely on what they refer to as “the King’s word” to remain on the farm and do what they wish. The children too have been so harassed that they can no longer go to school. The manager has been the victim of an attempted hit and run. Despite the vehicle having been painstakingly described to the police when he laid the complaint and charges, it is nevertheless able to be driven around unchallenged.
Now the other legal residents are receiving similar treatment. Their wives and children too are being harassed abused and assaulted, all, it certainly appears, without doubt under the blessing of the King and under the indemnity of the police in that the police have thus far been utterly unable to stop this chaos.
Since the media also seem too afraid or reluctant to publish these letters I have had to publish this on the world wide web. These are letters of challenge to a king who has all but totally established himself in the international community as an irresponsible tyrant that has no respect for the law and will condone whatever abuses against women and even the starvation of more than a third of his people, in exchange for his incredible ego and self centeredness. This is a King that will arrogantly ignore any questions from whoever, no matter what the cost.
The time has come for King Mswati to grow up and act like the stately and brave King his father was. The time has come for this King to face the music of this situation instead of hiding from it, because it will never go away. In fact this situation will in the absence of his communication escalate to the heavens and into every corridor of legal commercial and political influence on the globe. In the eyes of the whole civilized world, King Mswati of Swaziland is brazenly busy turning his reign into a legend of cowardice and deplorability.
Who knows, it might well be that he has some valid reason for allowing all of this chaos in this instance, but no one can imagine what that can be and we can only assume that it is in line with his total disregard for the law, the rights of women and the starving – in the absence of an answer from him that is. But I guess that if an answer has not been forthcoming in all this time then there is none, or he is still thinking up a clever excuse. The various witchdoctors and advisors he uses as councilors for cooking up his excuses in such cases usually need to try and achieve the impossible and therefore it usually also take rather long. This case however seems to have them stumped. Maybe his reasons are just not for us mere mortals to know.
Problem is though, that the rest of the world are going to demand more than clever answers and excuses, they will want to see the law upheld and the orders of court consented to by his cabinet members upheld. Moreover, they will want to see that law-abiding citizens are protected as opposed to being attacked by hoodlums who claim to be allied to the King. It is exactly that problem that will never go away for as long as King Mswati does not take some action that will remedy these evils that saturate his country.
Go on King Mswati, swallow your pride or racism or whatever it is that makes you cling to this silly silence and inept inactivity. Call me. Talk to me. Stop these criminals. Uphold the law. With a stable legal system in Swaziland we could even help you develop your country as we are doing in South Africa (see www.gili.co.za and www.izak.co.za ). Try some pure righteousness for a change, you might get to like it – it is very rewarding you know.