9 September 2011
PUDEMO leaders brutalised by Swazi police
Senior leaders of PUDEMO and trade unions were today (Friday 9 September 2011) brutally beaten up by police on the last day of the global week of action. The protest was held in the capital [Mbabane] and according to organisers was attended by more than 7000 people. The government had earlier on tried to interdict the protest but lost in court.
The problem started when the protesters were to be addressed by the President of PUDEMO, Mario Masuku. The police tried to stop the president from speaking and the protesters defended the leadership. Police then without any provocation started beating up everyone in their work. Surprisingly police allowed the other political parties to address the march. The attack here is against PUDEMO.
This is uncalled for. Nonetheless PUDEMO salutes our people for coming out in their numbers to close the Global Week at a high note. This has mobilised our people even more. The workers and students are even more determined to carry on with the activities and our members will continue to organise for more radical action.
Speaking from hospital, the National Organising Secretary of PUDEMO Wander Mkhonza, who is also Deputy General Secretary of the Processing Union, condemned the brutality and said that the police pounced on them without provocation injuring scores of people. These include many mineworkers from the quarry union.