Riot police were out in force in Swaziland yesterday (14 April 2012) to stop a prayer meeting and to arrest prodemocracy activist leaders.
The move follows the crushing of mass protests across the kingdom on Thursday.
Activists want democratic reforms in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
The service to pray for democracy was due to be held at the Lutheran church in the Swazi city of Manzini, but police set up road blocks to stop people attending.
Among those taken were members of organisations banned in Swaziland, including People’s United Democratic Movement President, Mario Masuku; Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) Information Officer, Gugu Malindzisa; Swaziland Youth Congress Secretary General and Organising Secretary, Justice Dlamini and Mcolisi Ngcamphalala who were all detained at Manzini Regional Police Headquarters.
The Swaziland Solidarity Network reported SUDF Coordinator Wandile Dludlu, was dumped in Mbabane and church leader Sydney Nyembe was taken away to an unknown location. The whereabouts of a host of leadership remain unaccounted for.
DEMOCRACY CAMPAIGN WILL GO ON