By Skhumbuzo Phakat, PUDEMO secretary general
By the Swaziland Democracy Campaign
September 10, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Friday, September 9, marked the last day in the second Global Week of Action on Swaziland, culminating in a large protest march in Mbabane that resulted in pitched battles between a heavily armed and aggressive security detachment, and mostly poor workers, students and the unemployed, who gathered legally and peacefully as they have done all week.
On September 5 and 6 (Monday and Tuesday) only minor skirmishes took place, and the security services were restrained and largely non-provocative. This is as it should be. The marches were legal, and the organisers made it clear that they wanted to exercise the few rights that they have.
There have been more than 20 protests across the world, and seven inside South Africa. These took place outside of the various offices of the Reserve Bank of South Africa in order to draw attention to the ill-advised bailout of R2.4 billion that is being offered to the Swazi regime through the Reserve Bank, "facilitated" by the South African African National Congress (ANC) government. The protests were also about the need for solidarity with the democratic forces inside Swaziland.
King Mswati III: sitting pretty after ANC "bail out".
August 5, 2011 -- South Africa's African National Congress government has defied supporters of democracy in Swaziland and granted the repressive absolute monarchy a five-year, R2.4 billion loan. The bailout, which was announceded by King Mswati III on August 3, has been condemned by the Swazi democracy movement and its supporters in South Africa. While its conditions do not require democratic reforms, the Swazi people will be subject to harsh austerity in order for the regime to repay the loan.
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August 4, 2011 -- The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) is calling upon the South African government to stop dilly dallying at a time when it has a genuine opportunity to exert pressure on Swazi authorities to stop human rights abuses and end the Tinkhundla dictatorship.
Kick out the monarchy, kick out capitalism
For working class power and socialism in Swaziland
Statement of the central committee of the Communist Party of Swaziland on the occasion of its inaugural conference, KaMhlushwa, South Africa, April 9-10, 2011
April 10, 2011 -- Swazi men and women from inside Swaziland and in exile convened in Kamhlushwa, close to the Swazi border, over the weekend of April 9-10 for the inaugural conference of the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS).
The formation of the CPS comes at a decisive point in the freedom struggle in Swaziland. Time is running out for the Mswati regime, which is directly responsible for the impoverishment, low life expectancy and heavy exploitation of the majority of Swazi people.
Swazi regime’s 'victory' is a pyrrhic one
By Peter Kenworthy
(Earlier reports and statements below.)
April 14, 2011 -- Pambazuka News -- Swaziland’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Lutfo Dlamini, called the brutally crushed peaceful protest or uprising against Swaziland’s absolute monarchy, that lets a small elite live in luxury while two thirds of the population live below the poverty line, a “failure” yesterday.
I beg to differ. In fact, the so-called “victory” of the regime against the demonstrators, whose call for democracy and rule of law in the absolute monarchy that is Swaziland, may turn out to be a pyrrhic one, making Swazi’s less likely to accept reformist measures once the inevitable change that most people want comes.
Because while the demonstrators didn’t manage to amass the numbers they had hoped for, this was mainly due to the intimidation, blocking tactics and violence of the police and security forces that did everything they could to stop people from assembling in Manzini.