The following is a statement from the Swaziland Democracy Campaign, advertising a lunch and picket to support Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Ngubeni, the two youth activists currently in jail awaiting their bail hearings to conclude. They are charged with explosives offences arising out of the 12 April 2011 protests in Swaziland.
Take a Lunch Break to Break Mswati’s Chains!
Free the Swazi Detainees Now!
Thursday 12th May 2011 at 12.30 – 2.00pm
Swazi Consul, Braampark, Nr Civic Theatre. Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa
Last month, the Swaziland government got the fright of its life! Following months of mass mobilisation and action, particularly the Global Week of Action in September 2010 and many other events, 2011 April 12 saw thousands of democracy protesters mobilised by Trade Unions, Civil Society, Youth and Faith Based Organisations took to the streets to demand a democratic Swaziland. The regime responded by staging the largest security clampdown for decades. Armed gangs of security personnel broke up marches, harassed and brutalised innocent protesters, and detained those it deemed dangerous. Many were attacked and arrested. Reports of the attacks went all over the world, fatally exposing the criminal nature of the ruling elite.
Despite the repression, activists in Swaziland have continued to campaign for regime change, and for the basic civil and human rights. The regime has a formidable arsenal of weapons and crowd control devices, and an army of cringing sycophants to do its violent bidding, but it also has a distorted legal system that has been developed over the last 37 years of despotic rule. The Swazi legal system is designed to criminalise all those who dare to stand for democracy.
At present Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Ngubeni are being held in detention. They were arrested at the time of the April protests. Both are courageous young activists who have publicly aligned themselves with the democracy movement. Both have been denied bail, and access to their families and from even taking their exams, despite the fact that the evidence against them is flimsy, and has still to be presented in court.
These two young comrades are being detained as punishment for daring to call for a democratic Swaziland. They join many others, including Bheki and Zonke Dlamini who have been detained and charged with trumped up charges under the notorious Suppression of Terrorism Act. This ‘legislation’ has been condemned by every significant human rights organisation throughout the world as representing a gross violation of universal rights.
We want to make sure that Maxwell and Musa, and all the others wrongfully detained are not forgotten. We want to make sure that the world is alerted to their plight, and begins to put pressure on the Mswati regime to release and compensates them for illegal arrest and wrongful imprisonment.
Musa and Maxwell appear in court again on Thursday 12th May for a further bail hearing.
That’s why we are mobilising resources for the legal defence of these comrades, and also why we have called for a picket of the Swazi Consular Office in Braamfontein on Thursday 12th to protest at their continuing imprisonment, and to demand the release of all political prisoners in Swaziland.
We urge all democratic and progressive individuals and organisations to ‘Take a Lunch Break to Break the Chains of Mswati’s regime!’
THURSDAY 12th May 12.30 sharp – 2.00pm. Don’t let Mswati get away with murder and crimes against humanity. Support the Picket!