Nastasya Tay, the South African reporter for Eyewitness News, sent this report just before she was arrested by Swazi police as she tried to cover the protests in Swaziland today (12 April 2011).
Will Swaziland erupt?
Police and the military on Tuesday morning searched vehicles in Manzini, Swaziland’s commercial capital, ahead of planned mass protests.
Trade unions will be marching for better wages and also demonstrating in solidarity with a pro-democracy group wanting to unseat King Mswati III.
Before sunrise on Tuesday, Freedom Square, the planned venue for mass protests, was deserted. The streets of Manzini were empty except for baton wielding security government officials walking through town.
Roadblocks were set up on the road leading into Manzini where armed officers searched vehicles for weapons.
Organisers of the planned protests said they want to see a transition to a democratic government in the small kingdom while government has vowed to enforce the rule of law.