3 August 2011
In announcing that Swaziland has been bailed out by South Africa, King Mswati stopped short of bragging about the personal ‘cordial relationship” he has with president [Jacob] Zuma. It is water under the bridge that an undemocratic, corrupt, wasteful and failed state; the world's last absolute monarchy led by one of the richest kings in the world who rules and reigns on one of the world's poorest countries whose more than 26% of the total population is HIV positive, and over 70% live below $1/day has been bailed out by one of the world's most respected democracies and neighbor South Africa.
This is a betrayal of the trust the Swazi people have on the South African Government and its institutions.
PUDEMO reiterate that bailing out the Swazi regime is not the solution but a burden to a future democratic state that will carry the task of paying off these loans that would not have benefited the people but the ruling elite. This is rewarding bad governance, corruption, oppression and mismanagement of public funds.
Equally embarrassing is another bailout by the EU to fund the king’s vanity projects which have no value to the ordinary lives of the poor people of Swaziland.
This bailout will among other things:
Ensure that princes and princesses are paid their monthly allowances under the royal civil list
Ghost civil servants and army personnel whose only duty is to report for royal duty will be paid
Some members of the royal family will continue to draw double salaries
Corrupt government officials will continue to get their over R80 million per month through corrupt means
More members of the royal family will continue to tour the world
Millions will be paid into the accounts of front companies owned by ministers and royalty
More weapons will be bought from South Africa to brutalise activists in Swaziland.
The people of Swaziland expected better from the South African government. This is a betrayal and PUDEMO condemns it.
We are yet to be convinced that it is in the interest of the Swazi people. Nonetheless this will not dampen our spirits we will fight on until this regime collapses. Our ultimate goal remains the attainment of democracy in Swaziland. PUDEMO will continue to forge unity among all pro democracy groups in Swaziland to intensify our national momentum towards democracy.
Equally so, we are calling on all our genuine international friends to put pressure.