The following is a statement issued today (28 March 2011) in response to a report published yesterday in the Times Sunday, an independent newspaper in Swaziland.
It is from the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) and criticises the newspaper’s reporting of the proposed ‘uprising’ on 12 April 2011. In particular, it takes issue with comments attributed to Dr Judy Smith Hohn of the Institute for Security Studies, in South Africa.
Hohn reportedly said that a revolution in Swaziland was impossible.
SUNDAY TIMES IGNORES PRO-DEMOCRACY INTERVIEWS, PUBLISHES SCARY ISS EXPERT VIEWS
28th March 2011
The Sunday Times of Swaziland’s project to undermine the Swazi people’s revolutionary April 12 uprising took a turn this Sunday as the newspaper desperately attempted to hoodwink the nation into believing that a revolution in the country was impossible.
In a week that saw Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) leader, Solly Mapaila, making numerous interviews with South African media on the subject, “Why Swazis should rise against their government,” the pro-government tabloid ignored all those interviews and only published one that fitted its agenda.
They chose to publish the myopic, racist and blatantly cliché views of a so-called “expert” from the Institute for Security Studies a Pretoria based NGO whose vision is ironically, “A stable and peaceful Africa, characterised by human rights, the rule of law, democracy and collaborative security.”
Swaziland is notorious for its disregard for all the above and has no democracy. Interestingly, Dr Hohn chose not to mention any of that and apologetically stated that, “the monarchy sometimes attracts global criticism for some bad decisions”, as if its very existence is not a bad decision to begin with.
This so-called “expert”, Dr Judy Smith Hohn, was quoted while speaking on a programme broadcast by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Throwing around clichés like, “Swaziland is different from other African countries.” “The country is a traditionally-oriented society,” the senior researcher sounded more like a kindergarten aged child regurgitating the conversations of her parents than a seasoned and original thinker.
As the days leading up to Swaziland’s historic rendezvous with its ultimate destiny of democracy, The Swaziland Solidarity Network would like to assure all courageous and democracy loving Swazis that their future lies in their hearts and minds, not in the jaundiced narrow perceptions of people who do not even know the difference between a Swazi and a Swati.
Swazi people are not the ignorant skin-clad tribes people that the international media would like the world to believe. As Mr Mapaila correctly observed in one interview, the majority of Swatis live in South Africa and only a thin fence separates the nation tribe. If one half can live in a Democratic Republic, how can the other half fail to conceive and actualise one themselves?
This so-called expert’s views echo Apartheid era propaganda which attempted to portray Black South African people as being tribal and traditional with no grasp of the concept of democracy and were used as an excuse to maintain white privilege and economic domination over them for years as democracy was the preserve of Europeans. If these are the views of the Institute of Security Studies then they are indeed unnerving.
Issued by the Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN]