The following message was sent to members of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) Facebook site on Monday (24 January 2011). It concerns harassment by the Swazi Police of activists in the student movement.
Brave Swazi Students defy Royal Swaziland Police
Comrades and friends of the Swaziland Revolution are informed that the students of Swaziland now live in fear of their lives as the Royal regime of Swaziland keeps harassing the students of Swaziland, especially those affiliated under the Swaziland National Union of Students [SNUS].
It all began on the day the youth of Swaziland, led by the Swaziland Youth Congress [SWAYOCO], were on their way to attend the World Festival for Youth and Students,held in South Africa. The bus in which they were travelling in had to be stopped a number of times by the Royal Police of Swaziland and subjected to arbitrary search whilst other vehicles were allowed to pass without any hassle. This happened on the 12th of December, 2010. When they reached the Ngwenya [Oshoek] border post the Royal Swaziland Police recorded their names on a separate sheet of paper, an act which is never done normally.
Problems continued when they came back from the festival. After some rigorous search on the students by the Royal Police two students were placed aside by the police. These are Comrade Thembela Ngcamphala and the Deputy Secretary General [DSG] of SNUS, Comrade Samkelo Ginindza. According to Ngcamphala ‘upon our arrival at Ngwenya (Oshoek) border post on the morning of Wednesday 22 December, 2010, the Swazi delegation was subjected to rigorous search by the Royal Swaziland Police for any material they felt was not allowed into Swaziland. I was in possession of the daily publications of the World Festival for Youth and Students. I also had the Festival and the World Declaration documents in my possession. I was taken aside together with Comrade Samkelo and we were led to a Royal police officer known as ‘Dube’ where they confiscated our documents on democracy and took our passport numbers and phone numbers’. They were both informed that police needed time to go over the documents and that they would be called later. On Tuesday 28 December 2010 the two Comrades received a call from Dube, the police officer, ordering them that they appear at the Police Regional Head Quarters in Mbabane on Thursday 30 December 2010.
Owing to the revolutionary spirit that these two comrades have, they, after consultation with leaders of SWAYOCO, decided to defy the Royal Police. This dealt an embarrassing blow to the Royal police since they had ordered these two Comrades to leave holidays and report to them. This prompted the same Dube to call the two Comrades on January 3, 2011, and threaten them with death for defying the police. ‘Dube posed some threats stating that they were going to deal with me, even if I can switch off my phone for good and that they had got all the gadgets to do that. He then ordered me to call them, but I continued to defy them. I am not answerable to the police’, stressed Comrade Thembela. The Royal police continue intimidating the two students up to this far.
It is not the first time that police have harassed progressive students of Swaziland. Pius Vilakati, a former President of the Student Movement in Swaziland, is currently in exile. He escaped Swaziland following similar threats by the Royal Swaziland Police, after he was said to have made ‘terrorist statements’ during the memorial service of Sipho Jele who himself had been murdered by the Royal police.
Comrade Thembela is one of the student leaders that were abducted together with Comrade Pius on the 10th of February, 2010. Comrade Thembela was later dumped about 60 kilometres East of Swaziland after undergoing some torture in the forests there that same day.
To this day the two Comrades receive threats from the Royal police and yet they remain defiant. SNUS calls for the continued support of the two Comrades from all democracy-loving people in Swaziland and around the world.