Here is another editorial from a South African newspaper today (14 April 2011) saying that King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, must accept that his days are numbered. Democracy is coming to Swaziland.
The New Age, South Africa
14 April 2011
EDITORIAL : Mswati must be reined in
The protests organised by trade unions in Swaziland and the harsh reaction to them by the Swazi authorities should not go unchallenged. According to reports, Swazi police fired teargas and water cannons and beat protesters with batons. They arrested scores of people in their attempt stop a march against Africa’s last absolute monarch.
With the winds of change blowing through north Africa and the Middle East, Swazi King Mswati III must know that his day is coming. The freedom of association where people join political parties or organisations of their choice is a universal right. In Mswati’s Swaziland, however, political parties were banned in 1970 by King Sobhuza II, Mswati’s father. The ban continues to date.
Many political activists and opponents of the monarchy have been arrested over the years. Arbitrary detentions by the Swazi authorities are the norm. Swaziland and Zimbabwe are two members of the Southern African Development Community that have shown complete disregard for human rights.
Those who attempt to show solidarity towards the opponents of the monarch’s undemocratic rule, are themselves harassed. We have seen members of Cosatu and its affiliates either being prevented from entering Swaziland or being detained when they enter the kingdom.
South Africa should lead the campaign to ensure that Swaziland is democratised. South Africa must put both political and economic pressure on Swaziland to change and respect the will of the people to live freely in a democratic environment.
The government has more than enough muscle to bring Mswati and his government to heel and avoid a conflagration of tragic proportions.
DEMOCRACY IN SWAZILAND IS INEVITABLE