KING PLEADS FOR PRAYER OVER LOSS OF HIS RIGHT-HAND MEN

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - STO­RIES BY ZWELETHU DLAMINI

His Majesty King Mswati III has re­quested the na­tion to pray with him over the loss of the coun­try’s pil­lars.

The King made this plea while send­ing con­do­lences to the late for­mer Army Com­man­der Brigadier Fonono Dube, who was laid to rest yes­ter­day morn­ing at Mbanana ceme­tery. The King was speak­ing through his rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bishop Sam­son Hlatshwako who said Their Majesties were sad­dened by the loss of a per­son of Dube’s cal­i­bre who was de­fined as a pil­lar to­gether with the late Ludzidzini Royal Res­i­dence Act­ing Gover­nor Timothy Ve­labo Mtetwa, who passed on in Oc­to­ber. “The King ap­peals for prayers as his pil­lars are fall­ing as he is won­der­ing as to who he will re­main with as not long ago one of his men Mtetwa passed on and now its Dube and these were the men he trusted,” said Hlatshwako.

He then sent con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies, the army and the na­tion for such a loss, say­ing they should learn from the two el­derly men who had passed on, not­ing that they were hum­ble and re­spect­ful. Their Majesties said such were the recipe for liv­ing longer and peace­ful de­par­ture and im­plored the youth to fol­low suit. On the other hand, Army Com­man­der Sobantu Dlamini, who was rep­re­sented by Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Len­ford Dlamini, af­ter send­ing con­do­lences to Their Majesties, the fam­i­lies, army and the na­tion at large; hailed Dube for his wis­dom and vast knowl­edge. The com­man­der said he was as­sured that the de­ceased had im­parted knowl­edge to his chil­dren in a sim­i­lar way as he had done to him (Sobantu). He en­cour­aged the fam­ily to live by this knowl­edge peace­fully and fol­low in Dube’s foot­steps of re­spect, say­ing such will earn them a long life like their fa­ther.

Dlamini then re­vealed that Dube paid al­le­giance to the King and his na­tion, cit­ing an in­stance where he avoided war with the Afrikaan­ers when the Ngov­uma Camp was es­tab­lished. He said at the time, the Swazi sol­diers had dis­agree­ments with neigh­bour­ing Afrikaan­ers and the for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Prince Maphevu and the first Um­butfo Swazi­land De­fence Force Army Ma­jor Gen­eral was an­gered and wanted to wage a war in­stantly but was halted by Dube.

“Dube ques­tioned Prince Maphevu who was short tem­pered and ready to wage the war if he was aware who had author­ity to wage the war. He re­minded him that it was the King who was vested with such pow­ers and Maphevu called him a coward but fi­nally backed off af­ter Dube’s ad­vice and that was how his loy­alty to the King saved the coun­try from the war,” said Dlamini.

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