The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) calls today (7 May 2011) for a complete cultural and sporting boycott of Swaziland in support of political change.
This comes after a recent successful boycott of a Jadakiss concert organised for Prince Lindani, the eldest son of King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
Yesterday, the Swaziland Democracy Campaign called for a boycott of the Bush Fire Festival planned for Swaziland later this month.
SSN released the following statement today.
7 May 2011
SWAZILAND’S CULTURAL BOYCOTT
The Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN] is extremely proud of the South African artists who put their careers on the line by boycotting the recent Jadakiss concert organised by the Swazi royal family. Having begged heads of states for so long to take a principled stand against human rights abuses, it is humbling to see ordinary people taking a lead and doing this. Our common Nguni language teaches us that “Ubudoda abukhulelwa.”
It has since come to our attention that the Swazi Royal family has taken these artists to court in order to force them to return the money that was paid to them in advance. As long as the royal family parasitically depends on the nation’s already depleted resources for its upkeep, they should not be given that money back.
Taking cue from the very controversial case when the same royal family, through its government minions, deposited money to buy a jet, we urge these artists to use the money to organise the Swaziland Solidarity concert. Proceeds from this concert will be donated to charitable causes in Swaziland.
THE BUSH FIRE FESTIVAL
The Swaziland bush fire festival is not a charity project as its organisers claim. It is a profit driven event like any other. We know this as a fact. It is wrong to dress up an event as being completely dedicated to charity just to avoid a boycott that is meant for an even bigger cause.
It is paternalistic to keep giving Swazis hand outs when we should be helping them get rid of their political oppression so that they can do things for themselves. This is the least that we can do. There cannot be any festivals and dancing in the country while the country’s authorities hold Swazi children in their jails under trumped up charges just so they can frustrate their political ambitions.
Human rights abuses and political repression are getting worse in Swaziland and the way that the recent peaceful protests were brutally suppressed, with cases of rape and torture, do not allow us to turn a blind eye on the country.
Concerned human beings must bar Swaziland from cultural and sporting activities. This is a stand that the world took against Apartheid South Africa and it helped to put pressure on the ruling regime.
We wish to once again thank those who understand that Human rights come before profits. Although the world may not recognise them as heroes, to the people that they provide solidarity to, they are the closest of brothers.
Issued by Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN]
‘BOYCOTT SWAZI BUSHFIRE FESTIVAL’
ROYAL CONCERT BOYCOTT DETAILS