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Friday, 8 July 2011

SWAZIS 'NOT IN FAVOUR OF KING'

Swaziland’s pro-democracy groups yesterday (7 July 2011) said they would support a bail-out of the kingdom by South Africa only if King Mswati gave a written undertaking to institute democratic reforms, Business Day newspaper, South Africa reports.

Yesterday, several Swazi groups, who were in Johannesburg to lobby for the imposition of conditions on the loan, said any bail-out should be on condition of strict fiscal and political reforms.

Mario Masuku, leader of the banned People’s United Democratic Movement, said a letter with a list of conditions had been delivered to President Jacob Zuma’s office.

‘Before any bail-out is done we need a commitment from the head of state and government that they are prepared to go along towards a democratisation process in Swaziland,’ he said.

Some of the demands included the unbanning of political parties, the scrapping of the 2008 Terrorism Act and the release of five political prisoners.

Musa Hlophe, a member of Swaziland’s Coalition of Concerned Civil Organisations, said it was a ‘fallacy’ that most Swazis were in favour of the king. Swazis had ‘lived a lie that has confused people’, leading them to believe they were super-custodians of African traditions.

‘We have actually camouflaged our dictatorship in that kind of blanket.’

To read the full Business Day report, click here.

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