The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it is intensifying its campaigning to help the Swaziland people achieve democracy in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
This follows the mass demonstration that took place in Swaziland yesterday (18 March 2011).
In a statement, published below, Cosatu says, ‘... we are intensifying our own role and involvement in taking up the demands of the Swazi people as our own demands, taking up their struggles as our own struggles, taking up their pain as our own pain and demanding that the world, and SADC and South Africa in particular, does more to assist the Swazi nation. It is no longer a Swazi problem, but a global and human problem. It’s a struggle of shared pain and suffering’.
COSATU Salutes Swazi Workers and Calls on All Workers to Intensify Action for an End to Mswati Rule!
Join the COSATU action on April 12th!
Today (18 March 2011) the fighting workers and masses of Swaziland filled the streets of Mbabane and Manzini to express their rage at a system that has for years bled their country dry through the greed and rampant accumulation of the royal family and its friends. It is a system that has kept the whole nation in a royal prison for more than 35 years, all in the name of Swazi culture.
Today, workers, students and people of Swaziland, declared their right to a life of dignity and equality. They demanded that they be heard. They called for solidarity and global action, now! We salute them!
For these reasons we are intensifying our own role and involvement in taking up the demands of the Swazi people as our own demands, taking up their struggles as our own struggles, taking up their pain as our own pain and demanding that the world, and SADC and South Africa in particular, does more to assist the Swazi nation. It is no longer a Swazi problem, but a global and human problem. It’s a struggle of shared pain and suffering.
Tinkhundla royal oppression is a crime against humanity and must be treated as such by all democracy-loving people. We also heed the call for smart sanctions against the royal regime; by targeting all its economic interests, friends and associates for isolation and boycott. Both the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) and Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) have clearly stated that the international community must regard the application of smart sanctions and a boycott of all goods and services of the royal family and the tinkhundla government as an absolute priority.
We have no doubt that workers have a central role to play in this regard. We will be meeting with the Swazi union movement to develop a comprehensive plan of action to make this call a reality. From here onwards, we call on every worker in South Africa to prepare for a comprehensive, rolling and decisive series of actions whose magnitude should change the political landscape of the whole Southern African region. This should serve as an example to all those who continue to oppress their own people. The mighty forces of revolution and the people of this region have taken charge of their lives.
Finally, over the next few weeks many activities and events expressing solidarity and support for the Swazi people will be organised by COSATU, the Swaziland Democracy Campaign and other civil society organisations across South Africa. COSATU calls on all workers, activists and people who stand on the side of justice to join and support these actions in your numbers and be part of history in the making. We draw special attention to the 12th April march being planned by our Mpumalanga province.
Let these actions serve as a clear statement to the world, to SADC and to our own government that merely standing by and watching Mswati is an act of accomplice in the persecution of the people of Swaziland.
The people of Swaziland have a rare and special moment in their hands. We salute you and we support you!
An Injury to one is an injury to all!
Issued by COSATU.