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Last Updated:  Monday, 31 March, 2003, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
Swaziland's war reporter exposed
A senior radio reporter in Swaziland who has been pretending to be reporting live from the war front in Iraq has been exposed as a fraud.

Phesheya Dube who works for the state broadcaster, Radio Swaziland, was spotted in parliament by eagled-eyed MPs, Reuters news agency reported.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri
No Swazi Radio microphone visible

Since the start of the war on Iraq, Mr Dube had been reporting on the English language "The Morning Show".

The programme's presenter helped in the charade, by wishing Mr Dube well and telling him to "find a cave somewhere to be safe from the missiles" after he filed his pieces.

But it appears he had just followed reports on the war from international radio and television networks, and then re-written them as his own eyewitness material.

In parliament, MP Jojo Dlamini asked information minister: "Why are they lying to the nation that the man is in Iraq when he is here in Swaziland, broadcasting from a broom cupboard?"

Public not bothered

Swazi journalist Thulane Mthethwa in Mbabane told BBC News Online that the deception had now stopped, although the reporter could still be heard on air reporting other news.

He said that surprisingly there has been no reaction from the public to the radio station's underhand practice.

Ususally letters would be expected to the editor of the Times Of Swaziland newspaper, in which the story appeared last week, or outrage would be expected on the station's own phone-in programmes.

"The only thing about the war that the ordinary people are concerned about is its effect on the price of fuel which might lead to an increase in prices of goods," our correspondent said.


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