Swazi police have unearthed a plot to bomb the state-owned "Swazi Observer" newspaper., according to a statement from the Media Institute of Southern Africa.

The development comes in the wake of the arrest of a suspect who survived what the police call a "terrorist" act in which two other men were killed when a bomb exploded prematurely during an attempt to bomb an overhead bridge on 20 September 2008 near King Mswati's palace at Lozitha, outside Mbabane, the capital city.

Police claim the man, Amos Mdedzi, a South African from Limpopo, confessed before a magistrate that he and his friends were on a mission to bomb government structures, including the "Swazi Observer" newspaper offices in Mbabane.

 According to police, the man said they failed to gain entry into the targeted areas because of tight security. They then consoled themselves by bombing the overhead bridge, an attempt which also failed as the bomb went off prematurely, killing two and injuring the survivor.

The "Swazi Observer", it was claimed, was targeted because it was a pro-government media.

"Swazi Observer" CEO Myzo Magagula was quoted in the local media as having expressed shock at the act, but said they were not aware that they were targeted for bombing.


The "Swazi Observer", founded in the early 1980s, is owned by King Mswati through a royal conglomerate, Tibiyo TakaNgwane. Because of the nature of its ownership, the newspaper rarely criticises the government.

MISA's Swaziland chapter condemns any acts of violence targeted at the media.

Bombings in Swaziland have become a common thing as progressive forces step up pressure to force the Kingdom to democratise. Close to 10 bombing incidents have occurred in the past few months but there had been no loss of life until this latest incident on 20 September.

The bombing occurred a day after the country held its parliamentary elections in which members of parliament were elected under the Tinkhundla traditional system which promotes election on individual merit as opposed to belonging to a political party.

Under pressure for political change, King Mswati recently condemned the continuous acts of terrorism in a speech delivered at the United Nations general assembly.