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Press releases - Southern Africa - Swaziland - Media - Religion - Governance
TV station forced to stop televising religious program
On 11 July 2010, Channel Swazi, a privately-owned TV station was forced to pull a religious programme off air after Swazi authorities felt the sermon which was being preached in the programme was critical of royalty and Swazi cultural practices.

The programme which was supposed to run for an hour, was discontinued after only five minutes when authorities called and ordered that it be pulled off air.

According to a report in the Times of Swaziland newspaper, the sermon was being preached by Pastor Justice Dlamini.

Quoted in the Times, the pastor said he was disturbed by the removal of his programme from the TV screens, more so because he believed there was nothing offensive in his sermon to warrant such censorship. He said when he enquired from the station, its managers claimed to have been helpless as they received an order to pull the programme off air.

The station, on the other hand, confirmed having been ordered to stop the programme but could not identify the source of the instruction.

The station’s director, Qhawe Mamba, a member of the Royal Family, said the programme was discontinued at the discretion of the transmission controller. He said such situations have happened before where programmes are pulled off air.

MISA-Swaziland condemns such an act of censorship which was unwarranted and uncalled for and appeals for the respect of the editorial independence of the media.

Source: Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)


Swaziland

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