The Police College Commandant would visit newsrooms and chat with journalists,the first and perhaps the last senior police officer who would beg a journalist not to publish a story if it threatened national security instead of issuing threats.
Despite negotiating with the journalists not to publish, Masuku would never hold grudges against any journalist who turned him down,surely, he understood the independence of journalists and was very professional.
The former police PRO was known for his negotiation skills to protect the image of the police service, even in scandals involving junior police officers, today police officers who allegedly killed civilians are own their own and the police institution is one of the most hated.
It should be noted that having highly skilled Public Relations Officers(PRO) in public institutions enhances journalism and the quality of news.
Journalists spend more time investigating stories to produce quality because if the information is not sufficient, the PRO will easily dismiss it in the eyes of the reader.
When negotiating, Masuku would say “ungasikhiphi mani lestory lesi sitawulimata live,mine ngitakunika scoop mbamba lesendlula lesi(meaning:Don’t publish this story it might cause chaos in the country, I will give you a bigger scoop)”.
I am not encouraging the blocking of stories and censoring of the media but merely sharing how skillful Vusi Masuku was when engaging with journalists, we were never tortured during his time even though we were exposing the police service.
At times, Masuku would allow you to publish and then further outsmart you with his Public Relations(PR) skills, he had that commanding voice which was worth listening to and trusted particularly, when interviewed by the State owned radio station.
One day, in the midst of the struggle for survival in this country, my car went out of petrol at night along the Mbabane-Manzini freeway.
I called many people for assistance to go and buy petrol with a container,Vusi Masuku drove from the Police College and was the first to arrive, he waited saying he wanted to make sure that I was safe and the problem was sorted.
Deputy National Commissioner Vusi Masuku was among the high profile people who attended my wedding,he was sitting among the ordinary citizens until Ushers noticed him, a very humble but influential police officer.
It’s a pity that these days police officers are the most hated as a result of their cruelty towards citizens, we hope in the new democratic dispensation, the dignity of the police would be restored.
In conclusion, perhaps, let me state that leadership is a skill, before writing this article,I was speaking to a very senior police officer within the Executive Command,we are at pains in losing Deputy National Commissioner Vusi Masuku.
Condolences to the National Commissioner Willian Dlamini,His Majesty the King, the media,all police officers and the entire Swazi Nation.