The COSATU central executive committee (CEC) said its affiliates would from October engage in demonstrations against King Mswati III’s leadership in Swaziland, and seek the implementation of a short-term trade boycott with the monarch and Zimbabwe, currently holding power-sharing talks to end political and economic crisis.
“The CEC agreed to organise demonstrations in support of democracy in Swaziland at the South Africa border on 18 September and to plan a week-long trade boycott and refusal to handle goods from and to Zimbabwe and Swaziland from October 27 to November 1,” COSATU spokesperson Patrick Craven, said.
“COSATU has written letters to several influential organisations and people, including former (South African) president Nelson Mandela, Archbishops Emeritus and Desmond Tutu and all trade union federations in southern Africa, not to recognise Robert Mugabe as the President of Zimbabwe, for stealing elections in that country.”
Craven took a swipe at the Swazi electoral system and its extravagant spending despite grinding poverty in the country, which last Saturday marked 40th anniversary of independence from Britain and celebrated King Mswati III’s 40th birthday.
“Swaziland is holding elections on September 19 under the tinkhundla system that bans political parties and criminalises all forms of political activity, marches, demonstrations and protests. The king (King Mswati III) set aside R70 million for celebrations of his birthday and the 40th anniversary of independence, despite the poverty and the crisis into which the royal family has plunged the country.”
He, however, hailed the formation of Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) as “a giant step in the right direction”.–CAJ News.