"lBroomstick-flying witches to be brought down in Swaziland
MBABANE: Witches flying broomsticks in Swaziland above 150m will be subject to arrest and a hefty fine of R500 000, civil aviation authorities said yesterday.
Witches’ broomsticks are considered similar to any heavier-than-air transportation device that is airborne. The statute also forbids toy helicopters and children’s kites from ascending too high into the country’s airspace.
“A witch on a broomstick should not fly above the (150m) limit,” Civil Aviation Authority marketing and corporate affairs director Sabelo Dlamini said yesterday.
No penalties exist for witches flying below 150m.
How serious he was is hard to say. However, witchcraft isn’t a joking matter in Swaziland.
Dlamini was asked by the Swazi press to explain the country’s aviation laws following the arrest of a private detective, Hunter Shongwe, for operating a toy helicopter equipped with a video camera.
Shongwe boasted of using the device to gather surveillance information similar to the way a drone aircraft operates.
The detective was charged with operating an unregistered aircraft and for failing to appear beforeditional authorities about his toy drone, the first of its kind in Swaziland.
Swazi brooms are short, tied bundles of sticks, without handles, and Swazi witches are known to use them to fling potions about homesteads – but not for transport. – Independent Foreign Service