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Swaziland: Massive Security Mobilisation Fails to Deter Protesters! The Struggle Continues

category southern africa | repression / prisoners | non-anarchist press author Tuesday April 12, 2011 18:30author by Swaziland Democracy Campaign - SDC Report this post to the editors

What follows below is an on the spot report from the Coordinators of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign and the Swaziland United Democratic Front in Swaziland. What we are witnessing is an unprecedented mobilization of the security cluster of the Swazi regime. Despite the statements of the Foreign Minister on SAFM this morning, and other spokespersons of the regime, the Swazi regime is flaunting all the universally accepted civil rights of its people to organize, gather and peacefully express their desire for a democratic Swaziland. The Minister said this morning that the government are ‘in dialogue’ with civil society and they are hoping to reach an understanding. Clearly as the statement below shows, ‘dialogue’ in Swaziland actually means illegal detention! It is now reliably reported that more than 50 leading activists have been detained including journalists from South Africa.
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Urgent Press Release: Massive Security Mobilisation Fails to Deter Protesters! The Struggle Continues: 12th April 10.20 am

What follows below is an on the spot report from the Coordinators of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign and the Swaziland United Democratic Front in Swaziland. What we are witnessing is an unprecedented mobilization of the security cluster of the Swazi regime. Despite the statements of the Foreign Minister on SAFM this morning, and other spokespersons of the regime, the Swazi regime is flaunting all the universally accepted civil rights of its people to organize, gather and peacefully express their desire for a democratic Swaziland. The Minister said this morning that the government are ‘in dialogue’ with civil society and they are hoping to reach an understanding. Clearly as the statement below shows, ‘dialogue’ in Swaziland actually means illegal detention! It is now reliably reported that more than 50 leading activists have been detained including journalists from South Africa.

The regime believes that by arresting the leadership of the democracy campaign they can undermine the protest actions that are planned for today and the rest of the week. This is a regime that is desperately clinging to power. By acting in this way they will attract further condemnation by the international community, and fuel further the mobilization of the Swazi people themselves. Now is the time for SADC governments and especially the SA government to come off the fence and decisively side with the people of Swaziland. Waiting diplomatically in the wings is serving the regime, not the people.

Bulletins will be circulated throughout the day from the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) and also from other sources including the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) as the situation in Swaziland unfolds. Please help to alert as many people as possible by passing on all communiqués to others.

For further information: SDC Contacts in Swaziland and South Africa listed below :

Ms. Mary Pais Da Silva | Dr Sikelela Dlamini
mpsdasilva@gmail.com | sikamd@gmail.com
(00268) 7603 0076) | (00268) 7617 1151

Stephen Faulkner | Ntokozo Mbhele
082 817 5455 | 072 370 0974
steve.faulkner@samwu.org.za | Ntokozo@publicservices.co.za

SDC UPDATE FROM THE FRONT LINE IN SWAZILAND 12th April 2011
CRACKDOWN CONTINUES!!!

Labour leadership was this morning rounded up and arrested by the regimes security forces. They include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Barnes Dlamini-SFTU President

2. Sipho Kunene-SUDF President

3. Vincent Ncongwane-SFL Secretary General

4. Phumelele Zulu-Dlamini-SFL Executive Member

5. Sibongile Mazibuko-SNAT President

6. Muzi Mhlanga-SNAT Secretary General

7. Nomkhosi Dlamini-Gumedze-SFTU Women’s Wing Secretary

It is not known where the comrades have been detained.

In addition to the leadership, a Dutch journalist, Rob Hartgers who is in Swaziland to cover the action, has been detained at the Manzini Regional Headquarters. Another Dutch journalist, identified only as Peter, has been thoroughly searched at a roadblock near Manzini.

Meanwhile the paramilitary police in full riot gear, and include shields and rifles are chanting and marching along the streets of Manzini. Passing through Manzini’s Freedom Square, where the march is supposed to start from this morning, SUDF’s Sikelela Dlamini was threatened with instant arrest and as we write this, he is fortunately still free.

All buses coming from Big Bend have all been detained at the Police Station there and irrespective of who the passengers are. Four buses and six mini-buses from Simunye and Mhlume have also been detained. Buses from Mananga, ferrying teachers to the march have been detained.

As we write, over fifty (50) marchers/protests including Quinton Dlamini the president of a PSI affiliated trade union were detained this and detained and it is not known where they have been taken to. The security forces are literally grabbing everyone they can lay their hands on from the streets and detaining them. The latest we are getting is that at Moneni, as you enter Manzini from the Eastern part of Swaziland, comrades are being forcefully ejected from all vehicles, deprived of their cell phones and loaded into police vehicles to unknown destinations. , We are currently liaising with leadership that has not been detained as yet and word is “THE MARCH GOES ON”.AMANDLA!!!

author by Swaziland Solidarity Network - SSNpublication date Tue Apr 12, 2011 19:06Report this post to the editors

SSN statement -12th April 2011

Students at the main campus of the University of Swaziland have unanimously endorsed the April 12 Uprising, vowing to protest until the government concedes to the people’s demands of the end of the absolute monarchy.

The decision to endorse the uprising comes despite the University’s Registrar, Dr. S.S. Vilakati, attempted to intimidate them by circulating a memo which stated that students of the University are not allowed to participate in any demonstrations save for those organised by the University.

This shameful attempt to intimidate them was rejected by the students, who have been part of the organising of the banned protest from the very beginning.

This spirit of defiance by the students must be highly commended. They are the future of the country and ought to take the lead in reshaping it.

During the time of the release of this statement not a single student is in lecture halls and the university is quiet.
Issued by The Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN]

Contact:

Lucky Lukhele-ssn spokesperson

072 502 4141

 

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