King Mswati III of eSwatini. Picture: Reuters
King Mswati III of eSwatini. Picture: Reuters

Political parties, religious, civil rights organisations call for democracy in eSwatini

By Goitsemang Tlhabye Time of article published Oct 21, 2021

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Pretoria - Political parties, religious and civil rights organisations are sounding the clarion call in solidarity with the people of eSwatini, demanding the end of the monarch rule in that country.

As weeks-long protests and tensions continue to build around the “pro-democracy” protests taking place in the country formerly known as Swaziland, various sectors within South Africa are calling for the South African government to make its voice heard and step in.

Last week Thabo Cecil Makgoba, the South African Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, tweeted: “In my intercession today, I lift all the people of eSwatini before God. Lord God, we are broken because all are broken in your Mountain Kingdom of eSwatini. Lord hasten the coming of peace and concord through all of us, for mercies sake. Amen.”

EFF leader Julius Malema and his party indicated that its members would be shutting down all the border entrances into eSwatini after the election in South Africa on November 1 to show solidarity in support of the protests.

The SACP also added its voice, stating that it was in complete solidarity with the “oppressed people” of eSwatini fighting for democracy and social emancipation.

Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, a member of the SACP committee, said the struggle taking place in eSwatini had been led for many years by numerous liberation movements including the People’s United Democratic Movement and the Communist Party of Swaziland.

Mashilo said the recent waves of protests, which initially began in May, were a result of increased activism by the youth and students, notwithstanding the extreme violence by the regime’s security forces, leading to the deaths of over 70 people.

With Swaziland being the last absolute monarchy in Africa, all legislative, executive and judicial powers are vested in the king.

As a result, political parties were and remain banned since April 12, 1973, with the absolute monarch, Mswati III, being above the ultimate authority.

Mashilo said while the party respected the sovereign right of the Swazi people to achieve justice, peace and transition to democracy and social emancipation, the fact of the matter was that democracy for the country was long overdue.

“The SACP pledges its solidarity with the Communist Party of Swaziland in calling for the formation of democratic community councils as part of building the organs of people’s power in Swaziland.

“We call upon intensified international solidarity with the people of Swaziland, the overwhelming majority of whom are working-class and poor. The Swazi people’s struggle for democracy and social emancipation is a just struggle and must be supported in every peaceful way possible.”

Pretoria News

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