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Swaziland25 October 2002

Journalist stabbed to death

Reporters Without Borders today deplored the stabbing to death of journalist Zweli Mabila, of the government daily The Swazi Observer, in Mbabane, the country capital, during the night of 23-24 October. He was the paper’s third journalist to be killed in a year.

"Those behind this latest killing and the others must be urgently found and punished," said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to Swazi prime minister Sibusiso Dlamini. "Journalists must be able to do their job in complete safety."

Mabila, a sports reporter, was stabbed a few yards from his home by thugs for unknown reasons as he was returning from work in the evening. He died next morning of his wounds.

Two suspects have been arrested and will soon be tried in the mystery murder of another Swazi Observer staffer, Sandile Ntshakala, on 1 October last year. Another journalist on the paper, Vinny Dlamini, was stabbed to death in the eastern town of Siketi, in a dispute.

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