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Friday, 11 June 2010

MORE ARRESTS IN STATE CRACKDOWN

Swaziland state forces are cracking down on pro-democracy campaigners in the kingdom. Five activists were arrested earlier today (11 June 2010) and have not yet been released,


The Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) reports the following incidents of harassment by the Swazi police force unleashed by Barnabas Dlamini, the illegally-appointed Prime Minister of Swaziland.


1. Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) Secretary General, Vincent Ncongwane’s house was broken into and a laptop was stolen on the 30th May, the night he was supposed to have left for the ongoing Geneva Conference. No arrests have been made.


2. Bheki Dlamini, a Trade Unionist and former Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) leader’s house was raided by the police on the 2nd June.


3. Themba Shiba, a SWAYOCO member and activist’s house was also raided by the police on the 2nd June.


4. Ndlavela Dlamini, the President of the Swaziland Ex-Mineworkers Association’s house was raided by the police on the 4th June.


5. Sydney Nyembe, the coordinator of the Swaziland Economic Justice Network’s house was raided on the 4th June.


6. George Hleta, a SWAYOCO member’s house was raided by the police also on the 4th June.


7. Alex Langwenya, the National Organising Secretary of the SUDF’s house was bombed on the night of the 8th June. The bomb used was a commercial one and of the capacity that could only be in the possession of the police or army and not a mere citizen. Of note is that Langwenya, his wife, and brother were arrested and not permitted legal representation. The question that arises is why they were arrested? Other victims of the recent spate of bombings, which include the police themselves and MPs, have not been arrested. Langwenya has subsequently been charged under the Suppression of Terrorism Act for materials found in his possession as immediately the police arrived at his home they proceeded to raid it.


8. Bheki Dlamini, a volunteer with the Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice’s house was raided by the police on the 8th June.


9. Mphandlana Shongwe, a member of the SDC Swaziland Chapter’s house was raided by the police in the morning of the 11th June.


10. Mary Pais Da Silva, the SDC Swaziland Chapter’s Convener’s mother received members of the police force at her home in the morning of the 11th June. Mary was not home and the police did not proceed to raid the place whose intention it had been to do so.


11. Also in the morning of the 11th June, a contingent of police officers was spotted proceeding to the home of Dr. Sikelela Dlamini, the SDC Swaziland Chapter’s Secretary. They probably got lost on the way and were unable to carry out their mission.


12. In morning of the 11th June, the following were taken into custody and have not been released as yet:
a) Thabile Zwane, Secretary General of SWAYOCO.
b) Zonke Dlamini and another unidentified male, both members of SWAYOCO.
c) Thabani Mdluli, a SWAYOCO member.
d) Machawe, a vibrant SNUS member.


13. The following are being kept under close surveillance by the police:
a) Sicelo Mkhonta, a SWAYOCO member.
b) Sicelo Vilane, a SWAYOCO member.
c) Thantaza Silolo, a SWAYOCO member.
d) Themba Shiba, a SWAYOCO member.

The SDC says these raids are carried out without any search or arrest warrants.


It says, ‘This is arbitrary abuse of power, lack of respect for the rule of law as well as untold human rights violation.’

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