The Facebook group formed to ‘topple’ King Mswati III of Swaziland says it does not seek a violent overthrow.
It is just a group of ‘ordinary citizens about to do a very important task in our country of birth’, it says.
But, it says, its intentions have been misrepresented, especially by the Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper.
In a statement, the April 12 Uprising said it wants pro-democracy groups to support its call. The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) has given its backing, but the Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Civic Organisations (SCCCO), has distanced itself from the movement.
The April 12 Uprising said it would go ahead with or without the support of other organisations.
The statement said, ‘We want to further clarify that our uprising is a popular mass demonstration which is founded upon the principles of non-violence as espoused by Martin Luther King and followed by the North African states who are currently liberating themselves from oppression. We do not posses any arms, Molotov cocktails or any military training. We are just ordinary citizens about to do a very important task in our country of birth.’
It went on, ‘It is therefore completely sensationalist for agencies like the Times of Swaziland to portray our uprising as being a violent one.’
The April 12 Uprising said, ‘No part of our group’s stated objectives mentions violence as a tactic. The truth is that any logical thinking person would know that no sane group would publicly declare a violent overthrow of its government and even state the date and venue for this.