-To force King Mswati to adhere to Democratic principles
The Swaziland Solidarity Network wishes to respond to the SADC’s extremely useless statement issued by the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics (SADCOP), His Excellency the president Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana.
The president’s statement was appalling. The very least that anyone making a public statement on the issue should do is acquainting themselves with the facts. The facts of the matter are clear to anyone who reads and listens to news about the tiny kingdom.
The number of people who are confirmed to have lost their lives in the king Mswati ordered massacre number at least 40, not “at least 1”. 40 murders within two days is what is called a MASSACRE, in the mold of Soweto’s June 16 Uprisings or the 1963 Sharpeville Massacre. No amount of spin can change that.
What further makes this massacre even more immoral is the fact that as far as violence is concerned, the people who were killed did not even throw a single rock at the security forces. Most people who were killed were shot for simply disobeying a curfew. There is even video evidence showing the army beating up innocent young women after forcing them to open their houses in their own homes. This is the violence that occurred in the country. These are clear crimes against humanity.
NO DIALOGUE IN SWAZILAND
What is most ironic about the 29 June Massacre is the fact that it is a result of lack of political freedoms and an oppressive system of government. What led to the massacre was a peaceful and widely supported campaign to deliver petitions in the different parliamentary constituencies in the country. That peaceful process, which was demanding Political Reforms, was derailed by the king when he ordered it to be suppressed. Having suppressed peaceful dissent, the king left the population with no other option but to use extra-legal means to show their dissatisfaction.
SADC’S FUTURE ROLE IN SWAZILAND
Due to the fact that the head of the SADC troika has failed to effectively deal with the decades long problem in the country, we are now appealing to all civic organizations and all political parties in the SADC region to make it their governments’ foreign policies to isolate the Swazi state and force it to adhere to democratic principles. Those who are aware of the history of the organization know that it was founded as a group of Front-Line States who used their proximity to South Africa to force it to end Apartheid. If there is something that we all have learned from the 29 June Massacre it is that the King Mswati regime practices a form of black on black Apartheid. The regime is merely s political class which wishes to hold on to power for the sake of self-enrichment at the expense of the majority. The Southern African region should help the Swazis to put an end to it.
Issued by the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN)
Contact Lucky Lukhele- Spokesperson