(MISA/IFEX) - Former workers of the Swazi Observer Group of Companies are suing the company for unfair dismissal and intend to claim over two million Emalageni (equivalent to R2 million, approx. US$252,878) at the Industrial Court on Friday 25 May 2001. The case has been dragging for over a year.
The newspaper was abruptly closed in February 2000, due to an alleged restructuring process. It was finally re-launched in 2001 under new management. However, the majority of the former employees were not re-employed, and the reasons were not provided.
The "Swazi Observer" was abruptly closed in February 2000 under a cloud of controversy, leaving over eighty employees jobless. This followed a series of articles that were deemed a threat to national security. The editorial team refused to disclose their sources and, as a result, the newspaper was closed amidst outcries from the media fraternity and international organisations.
The "Swazi Observer" was first launched in 1981 during the former King Sobhuza II's diamond Jubilee. He held it in trust on behalf of the Swazi Nation. It was funded by the Tibiyo TakaNgwane and is regarded as a national asset.