At a meeting held at Johannesburg Civic theatre on Sunday some democratic forces came out in full support for the Swazi people. The Swaziland Democracy declaration says, The people of Swaziland live under extreme political repression. Political activity is banned and most basic rights are denied. Arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, beatings, torture, disappearances, and even murders are part of the fabric of the repressive methods of the regime. In an attempt to justify their rule traditional Swazi culture has been stolen by the Royal elite from the people and is used to instil fear and submission.
The chair-person of the South-African based Zimbabwe Diaspora Forum, Solomon Chikowero, said the Swaziland people were in a struggle similar to Zimbabweans. He also took swipe at international organisations for supporting the ruling monarch in Swaziland.
How can you give an undemocratic country like Swaziland an organ on politics and security by SADC? And also African Union on Zimbabwe? They are encouraging despotic rule, he said, adding that he would travel to Swaziland to demonstrate in solidarity with the Swazi people.
A Zimbabwean human rights activist, Munjodzi Mutandiri, said the Swaziland Democratic Campaign was a giant leap towards making sure that the Swazi people realized their dream of a free and multi party nation. Mutandiri said South Africa couldnt be free while her neighbours were not free.
Skhumbuzo Phakathi, the Deputy President People United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), castigated international organisations like Southern African Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU)., United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) for double standards in not telling the Swazi King to abandon his autocratic rule.
We are prepared to work with democratic forces in Zimbabwe like opposition parties and others in the whole world to ensure that the people of Swaziland are free, said Phakathi.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and her affiliate trade unions supported the Swazi people and said they would go and demonstrate in Swaziland. Bongani Masuku, the COSATU secretary for International Affairs, joined with Phakathi to call for international organizations to impose targeted sanctions on the Swazi Royal family and their elite.
Phakathi also said the world must stop the royal family from accessing medical facilities in other countries, going on shopping sprees and sending their children to foreign schools and universities.
Swaziland is ruled by the monarch King Mswati III who has 13 wives who are supported by the sate coffers. There is no freedom of association, speech and multiparty democracy is lacking. The university of Swaziland and five Swazi nursing and teacher training colleges were recently forced to close when the government withdrew sponsorship.Post published in: Politics