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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

ACTIVISTS MAY LOSE SCHOLARSHIPS

Students in Swaziland will have their scholarships revoked if they engage in political activity, if the Swazi Government has its way.

New rules for students presently being drafted state that ‘at its discretion’, the Scholarship Selection Board can terminate a scholarship ‘when a student is a member, supports or furthers the activities of a banned entity’. In Swaziland all political parties are banned, as are a number of pro-democracy organisations, including the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) and the Swaziland Solidarity Network.

Students in Swaziland are among the most vocal opponents of government and have held many protest marches to Government and class boycotts.

As recently as last weekend students announced they would be protesting on 21 March 2012 in Mbabane and Manzini, the two main towns of Swaziland.

President of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) Maxwell Dlamini told a meeting of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) that students would not just march against the non-payment of their scholarships, but also for social justice.

He said students had lost hope in Swaziland’s undemocratic tinkhundla system of government.

The new rule is contained in the Draft Scholarship Policy for Pre Service Tertiary Education being overseen by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Lutfo Dlamini.

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