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Friday, 28 November 2008

SWAZI COPS BAN DIPLOMATS’ MEETING

MEDIA RELEASE


SWAZILAND COALITION OF CONCERNED CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS


28 November 2008

Police Force Abandonment of Meeting Between Diplomats and the Swazi Civil Society

It is six years to the day that the Swazi Government’s infamous 28 November declaration that the state would not respect the decisions of the courts and so abrogated the rule of law. As if to remind the Swazi nation of the events of that day and its continuing disdain for legal norms, the Swazi Government through the Royal Swazi Police have forced a cancellation of a meeting between Diplomats accredited to Swaziland and the Civil Society. The meeting was convened by the Council of Swaziland Churches to take place at the Tums George Hotel at 2:30 PM.

The Police Station Commander in Manzini summoned the Secretariat of the Council of Swaziland Churches with His Lordship Bishop N. Ndlovu and the Coalition’s Musa Hlophe to the Manzini police station, where they were told that this meeting could not take place without the police’s presence, both inside and outside of the conference room, and taking notes of all the proceedings. He informed the organisers that only the government should speak to diplomats and it was none of civil society’s concern.

Confronted with this outrageous and bizarre demand by the police, Bishop Ndlovu and his delegation restated the citizen’s Constitutional right to privacy and freedom of assembly and expression. The police responded by referring to the Suppression of Terrorism Bill, which in their interpretation, trumped the Constitution.


The delegation pointed out to the police that if their International and Constitutional rights could not be respected by the police, they would rather call off the meeting than expose their members and their invited guests from the diplomatic community to the risk of being labeled ‘supporters of terrorism’. Therefore the delegation reluctantly came to the conclusion that for the in the interests of avoiding a possible violent confrontation and placing the diplomatic community in this untenable position it was better to abandon the meeting.

Mr Hlophe went on by saying, ‘We challenge the police to tell us what crime was likely to be committed and by whom? These actions show that the real use of the Anti-Terrorism Act is not to protect the state from violence but to protect the blushes of this government from legitimate scrutiny and debate.’

He finished by saying, ‘Today on the sixth anniversary of the Rule of Law Crisis, the behaviour of the government and the police spoke more eloquently to the diplomats than we ever could have about the reality of human rights in this country.’

For More Information Please Contact Musa Hlophe +268 604 8988 +268 505 5911

sccco@swazi.net

SWAZI COPS ARREST YOUTH LEADER

President of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) Wandile Dludlu was yesterday (27 November 2008) taken in for questioning by Mbabane police, the Swazi Observer reports today.

He was taken at his home in the morning.

He said he was questioned by three police officers about his affiliation to the political party. He revealed that he was at the police station for more than four hours. Dludlu said he was asked why they talked to the media, yet they were banned.

‘I told the officers that we do not support the law that has been enacted and for that reason we will not comply.’

The Observer also reports that contrary to a media release issued by SWAYOCO National Organiser Themba Mabuza has said he was not arrested by police.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

SWAZI KING UNDER RENEWED ATTACK

SACP STATEMENT ON THE STATE OF EMERGENCY IN SWAZILAND


27 November 2008


The South Africa Communist Party (SACP) is very much concerned about the continued abrogation of power by King Mswati III and his newly appointed Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini with the arrests of the President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) and the President and General Secretary of Swaziland Youth Congress. Subsequently, the authorities have refused to allow them visits including from a Bishop and from the British and American consulates. President [Mario] Masuku, who is ailing and requires constant medical attention, has been subjected to these inhumane acts by the Tinkundla regime.


We have observed with absolute dismay the deteriorating political situation in Swaziland where the King still rules by a royal decree and proclamation of 12 April 1973.


The recent spates of arrests and intensified political persecution is an aftermath of a newly enacted draconian law labeling PUDEMO, SWAYOCO and the South African-based Swaziland Solidarity Network as terrorist organizations. These desperate measures by the King and his royal cohorts only seek to plunge the county in fear and bury any prospect from a negotiated settlement of what is considered the most autocratic regime in modern times disguised as a protector of culture and tradition.


The SACP calls on SADC to immediately remove King Mswati III as head of its most important Organ on Politics and Security since he does not qualify to hold such an office whilst blatantly abusing human rights of his own people.


The SACP remains steadfast in its support for the democratization of Swaziland. No act of state aided terror, arbitrary arrests and torture can dissuade the people's will to march to freedom.


We further pass our message of solidarity to President Masuku and other comrades who are unjustifiably detained. We urge them to remain strong for their cause is justified and supported by all freedom loving Swazis and people all over the world


Issued by the SACP.

Contact:

Malesela Maleka

SACP Spokesperson – 082 226 1802

SUPPORT FOR SWAZI YOUTH CONGRESS

Swaziland Solidarity Network press statement on the arrest of SWAYOCO President Comrade Wandile Dludlu and National organizer comrade Themba Mabuza.


27 November, 2008


The Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN] condemns with strongest possible way the arrest of Swaziland Youth Congress [SWAYOCO] leaders by the Swaziland regime. The comrades are the president comrade Wandile Dludlu and the National organizer comrade Themba Mabuzu, The two leaders of SWAYOCO a youth league of The People's United Democratic Movement [PUDEMO] have now joined the people's president comrade Mario Masuku PUDEMO president, who was arrested on the 15th November, 2008 Mswati is now filling his prisons with members of PUDEMO and SWAYOCO.


As SSN we agree fully with SWAYOCO to demand the following:


- Unconditional release of PUDEMO president cde Mario Masuku, SWAYOCO president cde Wandile DluDlu and SWAYOCO national organizer cde Themba Mabuza.


-Mswati must unconditionally apologies to the nation for declaring war on defenseless citizens.


- Withdrawal of the evil Suppression of terrorism Act, which declares SWAYOCO and PUDEMO as terrorist organizations( PUDEMO is a liberation movement).


-The world must apply sanctions on the Swazi regime elites and their families.


- SADC must reconsider their decision to give Swaziland the chair of the organ for peace and good governance and withdraw it immediately.


- Return to multi party democracy without further delay.


- A new and democratic constitution that will guarantee freedom of association, speech and that will be inclusive of a bill of rights.


We also wish to repeat our communicated message to SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) that says:


Over the years King Mswati III has relentlessly pursued his father’s heritage in suppressing the democratic forces in Swaziland. The sympathetic way in which South Africa and the SADC has handled him, giving him stature and honour, has further bolstered his ego, to the point where he now thinks he is untouchable and his ‘Swazi Style’ of democracy is widely accepted by international bodies.


The criticisms from AU (African Union) and SADC against undemocratic practices in Africa, seem to not have gone home to Swaziland. Recently Mswati has been made the Chairperson of SADC Troika on Security and Defence. This is an utter embarrassment to all democratic forces in Southern Africa. We appeal to SADC to take firm action against Mswati, and stop appeasing him in these ways; to put serious pressure on him, before Swaziland turns into a born-fire of violence. We have had enough of a small Tin-pot dictator who enjoys too much respect in respectable democratic institutions like AU and SADC. "Swazi Style of Democracy" is merely a smokescreen for simple tyranny.


Issued by the Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN]

For more information contact:

Sikhumbuzo Thomo- Secretary General [SSN]

+27 73 170 1205


See also

MORE ‘TERROR’ ARRESTS IN SWAZILAND

TERRORISM


MORE ‘TERROR’ ARRESTS IN SWAZILAND

Media Statement by Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO)


26 November 2008


Arrest of SWAYOCO President Cde Wandile Dludiu and National Organiser Cde Themba Mabuza


Yesterday marked another sad era for the sons and daughters of our beloved country Swaziland, when the president of the youth of Swaziland under the banner of SWAYOCO comrade Wandile Dludlu and the also SWAYOCO national organizing secretary comrade Themba Mabuza were arrested yesterday by the Swazi armed forces. The youth president and the national organizer were arrested for being unapologetic members of SWAYOCO which is a youth wing of the Peoples United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) which is at the forefront of the struggle for the liberation of Swaziland.


The arrest of these two young lions, revolutionaries happened yesterday afternoon after the arrest of the Secretary of PUDEMO comrade Sphasha Dlamini, whilst they were being interrogated they were called all sorts of names that are unprintable and they were heavily tortured and told in no uncertain terms that [Swaziland King] Mswati has given them the go ahead to kill all members of PUDEMO and SWAYOCO.


The arrest of our leaders is based on what was allegedly said during the funeral of our departed comrade Musa Dlamini to the effect that PUDEMO and SWAYOCO recognized him as one of our fellow comrades a dedicated member who died for the liberation of Swaziland .SWAYOCO will forever honour its members and people who have sacrificed and died for the liberation of our country.


The dying regime of Mswati is so desperate to cling on to power that it is using all tactics that have never been seen before when torturing members of SWAYOCO because they allege that these is the organization that mobilizes, politicizes and conscientises the people of Swaziland .


SWAYOCO has, continues to be, and shall never be, shaken by these acts of cowardice from the regime, we remain firmly rooted in our course of playing a significant role in the liberation of our country. Whatever tactics the armed forces will use we will not swerve because the is light at the end of the tunnel, because it is clear that no one in this whole world has ever stood in the way of change.


SWAYOCO will never denounce its members, we repeat SWAYOCO will never denounce its members it is with pride that SWAYOCO has produced cadres of the calibre of comrade Musa Dlamini who with an array of opportunities at his disposal to live a life of luxury chose a path that few could have taken that of laying the foundation and setting the tone for the liberation of Swaziland. And he lost his life fighting to free the people of Swaziland. MJ is a product of SWAYOCO who graduated to PUDEMO and even in death he will forever be our member


SWAYOCO DEMANDS THE FOLLOWING


- Unconditional release of PUDEMO president cde Mario Masuku, SWAYOCO president cde Wandile DluDlu and SWAYOCO national organizer cde Themba Mabuza.


- Mswati must unconditionally apologies to the nation for declaring war on defenceless citizens.


- Withdrawal of the evil Suppression of terrorism Act, which declares SWAYOCO and PUDEMO as terrorist organizations (PUDEMO is a liberation movement).


- The world must apply sanctions on the Swazi regime elites and their families.


- SADC must reconsider their decision to give Swaziland the chair of the organ for peace and good governance and withdraw it immediately.


- Return to multi party democracy without further delay.


- A new and democratic constitution that will guarantee freedom of association, speech and that will be inclusive of a bill of rights.


Comradely

PHINDA MNDZEBELE

Deputy President

For more details contact:

Email:fufini@hotmail.com Mobile: 0736777350