Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU), South Africa
5 September 2011
Sipakatane or not, the quest for Freedom is alive for Swazi’s
POPCRU has acknowledged the revolutionary actions to resume from the 05th September 2011 until the 09th September 2011.
And this resonates well with what the President of COSATU said on the launch of Swaziland Democracy Campaign when he said, “We are gathered here [launch] as we have no choice, but to struggle, because to perish is not an option”.
POPCRU resolved in 2002 Badplaas Congress to support solidarity campaigns in Swaziland which culminated in the formation of Swaziland Police Union [SWAPU] and Swaziland Correctional Services Union [SWACU].
It has taken many years of struggle to expose the Tinkundla system that it was
weak and the ‘bail-out’ syndrome has indeed proved that the elitist system is incapable to sustain itself.
The country continues to be ruled under a dictatorship, where there is no separation of powers; the judiciary, legislative and executive powers are all invested in the king, to the
extent that the government cannot properly advise the monarch.
POPCRU reiterate its total overhauling of the royal dynasty that feeds itself with the natural resources of the country in the disguise of having unquestioned love for culture.
It is uncultured to have a country suffering from poverty, under-development, high HIV/AIDS prevalence, lack of democratic principles, absence of freedom of association and it becomes business as usual.
Freedom of Association
Swaziland has over the years violated the International Labour Organization’s Conventions in general and in particular Article 3, which states that “workers and employers shall have the right to draw up their constitutions and rules, to elect their representatives in full freedom, to organize their administration and activities and to formulate their programmes. And the public authorities shall refrain from any interference which would restrict [this] right or impeded the lawful exercise thereof”.
A Petition was served to the Prime Minister way-back around 2008 by the International Council of Police Representatives Association [ICPRA] in which POPCRU sits, alluding to a fact that “Police Officers must be allowed the democratic right to democratically associate and advocate for better working conditions”. However, such inroads were viewed with resistance and suspicion.
The untransformed Judiciary system in the kingdom ruled against the Unions on the ‘right to associate’.
And the state police agents resorting to injuring those with dissent view through the usage of Sipakatane-a method of whipping opponents using ‘spiked whip’.
New Democratic Republic
The new Republic of Swaziland in which we support must reverse all these shenanigans against the working class. Labour Rights are universal rights enjoined to all workers through the constitutions of many countries and Swaziland cannot be an exception in our lifetime.
We believe that police in Swaziland or elsewhere are expected to defend democracy and they [police] should not be denied the basic democratic rights, such as the right to collective bargaining and freedom of association.
Through being part of the collective bargaining, the police may begin to appreciate the significance of freedom of association.
“The state sought to isolate and divide the progressive forces by labelling others as ‘terrorists’ and in the process, creating an attitude of ‘holier than thou’, amongst others, who sought to portray themselves as more reasonable to the state. The reality is that a brutal enemy cannot be pleased or massaged into changing, but it’s only through struggle and painful sacrifices that change come”. The duty of internationalist is to unite the people in whose name they wage solidarity and not divide them, or encourage things that would undermine their undisputed role as the leaders of their own struggle., said COSATU President
POPCRU calls on the people of Swaziland to prioritize the establishment of the Republic of Swaziland with a democratic state, allowing a free political activity by all citizens, freedom of association for Trade Unions, respect for human rights and not only to have a few ‘yes grouping representatives’,dictating to the population.
Forward with the Unity of the Working Class in Swaziland Democratic Republic to be coming soon!
‘5,000 on march in swaziland’