The following is a New Year message from the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN), South Africa Chapter.
The Swaziland Solidarity network [SSN] takes the opportunity to wish all South Africans, the ANC-led alliance and its mass formations, Cosatu [Congress of South African Trade Unions] and the SACP [South African Communist Party] a wonderful and New Year season celebrations.
We also thank thousands of ordinary SSN members and volunteers that defied a subdued internationalism and demonstrated selfless solidarity by mounting massive political campaigns in 2009, demanding a democratic Swaziland, the scrapping of repressive legislation and release of many friends and comrades who’ve been in and out of jail, including President Mario Masuku, Thulani Maseko, Wandile Dludlu and Amos Mbedzi.
We wish to remember our fallen comrades Jack Govender and Musa Dlamini, who laid down their lives for a democratic Swaziland.
In particular we convey our warmest and revolutionary wishes for 2010 to the oppressed people of Swaziland, the democratic forces led by Pudemo [People’s United Democratic Movement] including women and children in particular.
We remain steadfast and highly inspired by their unrelenting political struggle - in a sea of poverty, without food, assistance, resources - to confront the dictatorship of King Mswati and soldier on to construct their society along genuinely democratic foundations. We are determined to reproduce our efforts in the New Year, to help them defeat the Royal Monarch led by King Mswati and his corrupt cronies.
We call upon all higher education institutions in South Africa to provide opportunities to young Swazis, whose educational future is grim, following their rising against a feudal family system of political rule that marginalises all activists and their children from educational opportunities.
We call on the international community to cease its support of Mswati, especially those involved in the hypocritical provision of arms of war, or any covert and militarised training of whatever sorts. We deem this duality of action an action against peace and part of outmoded doctrines of pre-emption, unilateralism and constitutes very serious violation of international law.
It is our view that the appropriate policy for all external regimes, is to allow the people of Swaziland to exercise their right of rejection to an obsolete political system. The freedom of the Swazi people should not be traded to distant doctrines of new world order, which are characterised by wars and rivalries for the control and domination of the world’s regions and poses very limited possibilities for Swaziland democratic advance.
But in our evaluation, the main principal political challenge lies with South Africa and nations in the regions, to break the cycle of silence on the excesses of Mswati induced political crisis.
King Mswati has defied all norms of democracy including many of agreed protocols on elections, on free political activity, on the rights of trade unions and the media. He came down guns blazing on democratic protest in the past few years.
He’s demonstrated inclination and readiness to partner dictators like [Robert] Mugabe in Zimbabwe and others, in destructive arms exchange projects. We know that he’s a regional warmonger who promoted the invasion of sovereign nations like Madagascar whilst in his position as the Chair of the security organ of SADC [Southern Africa Development Community].
We know his stand against all rights of young women to free choice, under the guise of culture. He’s an auxiliary of the countries promoting unfair trade and permanent imbalances through the EPA’s, against regional integration.
And he benefits his family from [Southern Africa] Customs Union (SACU) proceeds, neglecting the more than 80 percent unemployed, over 80,000 of HIV / AIDS orphans, 70 percent of the population that receives handouts, and the poverty stricken people of Swaziland. Mswati is a destructive warmonger who has no vision for the country other than his own and family.
Finally the Swaziland Solidarity Network congratulates the SACP on a successful Special National Congress outcome which was attended by SSN including Pudemo leadership.
SSN delegates were struck by a characteristically deep concern by SACP members during the discussions, about the plight of the region, how social and economic policies affected continental citizenship, about scores of victims of xenophobia, the plight of the migrants and our collective political future.
At the heart of our assessment of this congress at the beginning of 2010, is the basic question raised at this congress, the need for political mobilisation, on the policies of our governments regarding the state of the entire peoples of the SADC, Africa including Swaziland.
We will continue to strengthen our relationship with the alliance and as part of our overall strategy, locate the ANC-led alliance at the center of our struggle for solidarity around the following two main principles:
- completing aborted National Democratic Revolutions and
- ensuring the needs and interests of the poorest of the poor sections of our people are dominant, in the state, in society and internationally
We congratulate the leadership and members of SSN and all supporters of democracy in Swaziland and wish them a happy new year.
Issued by the Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN] South Africa Chapter.