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Press statement on Swaziland mass action
Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum
April 12, 2011

The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum (ZSF) in South Africa joins all progressive civic society and solidarity movements across the world, in condemning the latest raid and unlawful arrests of the leadership of the labour movements in Swaziland this morning as they where preparing to take part in the mass action planned for today the 12th April 2011. Many other ordinary members and students who were wearing T-shirts from their respective organizations where also arrested.

The identified leaders who are arrested are:

  • Sipho Kunene: The President of the Swaziland United Democracy Front (SUDF). .
  • Muzi Mhlanga: The Secretary General of the Swaziland National Association of teachers (SNAT).
  • Vincent Ncongwane: Secretary General of the Swaziland Federation of labour (SFL).
  • Phumelele Zulu-Dlamini: An executive member of the Swaziland federation Labour (SFL).
  • Nomkhosi Dlamini-Gumedze: The Secretary of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions' Women's Wing (SFTU).
  • Barnes Dlamini: The President of the SFTU.
  • Sibongile Mazibuko: President of SNAT.

On this day the 12 April 1973 King Sobhuza II the King of Swaziland declared a decree that gave supreme power to the King, with all legislative, executive and judicial power vested unto the King. The decree banned and illegalised political parties in Swaziland, trade unions, students, youth and women's organisations, all structures of mass participation in that country, and peaceful demonstrations. The decree has been in place since 1973 to date. The people of Swaziland are suffering from the effects of a perpetual state of emergency decreed by the Tinkundla regime.

Today members of COSATU, the Alliance partners and other progressive movements are gathered at the Oshoek border in their large numbers to pay active solidarity to the people of Swaziland in their struggle for freedom and democracy in that country. The ZSF calls on the diplomatic community, progressive media houses and civil society to speak out forcefully against such detentions and condemn the bully-boy military tactics displayed by the Mswati regime.

South Africa will be celebrating their freedom day on the 27th April only two weeks from now, for this reason the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum calls on the South African government to speak out against these atrocities and take drastic action against the Mswati regime, allowing the citizens of Swaziland to also enjoy a free and democratic Swaziland.

We pledge our utmost support to all those who were arrested and victimized and undertake to work tirelessly in our quest to ensure freedom for all the citizens in Swaziland.

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