This is thought to be the first time since South Africa became a free nation that its president officially met King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
The Swaziland regime has been condemned across the world for the lack of democracy in the kingdom and the continual assault on human rights. Even as Juma and the king were enjoying the World Cup in South Africa, Swazi police were rounding up pro-democracy activists back in Swaziland.
The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) says the meeting ‘bleeds our hearts’.
In a statement it says, ‘We note that President Mandela and Mbeki in his first term [as president] never met Mswati. King Mswati's murderous state continues to arbitrary arrest, harass, detain, maim and kill pro-democracy activists with impunity and without restraint whatsoever.'
It goes on, ‘Mswati is undemocratic, a murderer of innocent people.’