Friday, September 10, 2010



The President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), the banned national liberation movement in Swaziland, Mr. Mario T. Masuku finally received an award given to him by the students of Denmark early this week. The award was given to him earlier in the year but he could not attend. The award was handed over to the President by Mr. Motern Nielsen from the Afrika Kontakt, the former anti-apartheid group that assists people and groups advocating for fundamental human rights and socio-economic empowerment of people in the developing world.

Mr. Masuku is vocal in the struggle for the democratization of his country that is currently ruled by King Mswati III, the world’s only surviving absolute monarch, ranked among the top 15 richest Monarchs the world. Mr Masuku was charged with high treason in 1990 but was acquitted after spending a year behind bars. He was again charged with sedition and subversion in 2000, kept in solitary confinement and yet again acquitted in 2002. His last arrest was in 2008 wherein he was charged under the notorious Suppression of Terrorism Act where again he was kept in solitary confinement in the maximum security prison for a year. He was subsequently acquitted by the high court. People, including students from Denmark, had tried paying Masuku a visit while in jail, but the Swaziland government refused them entry.

In between these arrests Mr Masuku had his house ransacked by the joint army and police contingents; his family harassed and party documents confiscated. While in prison the state had refused him private consultation with his physician and was not allowed sunshine or exercise outside his prison cell.

Below is what the President said on receipt of the ward:

It is good and comforting to be here today and receive this great award from these great people of Denmark. On behalf of the homeless, the foodless, the educationless, the healthless, the jobless, the landless and the voiceless of our poorest, I feel humbled and greatly honored to receive this award. Yes, it feels good to be with such honorable men and women at this function, but my soul drags me to the streets with street vendors; the hungry and street children of our lofty cities; to be in the factories with the toiling, exploited and underpaid workers; to be in the dry unproductive rainless plains and valleys in the rural areas.

That is where I belong; for my fellow citizens carry the heavy york of oppression from the authoritarian regime imposing itself on the helpless masses in the guise of loyalty. We all live a life of ‘no alternative’ in a land where culture has been politicized and commercialized and where dissent means seclusion or, as recently has been seen, DEATH!

But I extend our honor and respect to those brave comrades in Denmark, South Africa and the world over for their unshaken solidarity with the suffering people of Swaziland. We assure them that history has shown that the oppressed people eventually liberate themselves. Swaziland cannot be an island of dictatorship in a sea of democracy!

Demagogues do not start out as demented demons. Humanity has had plenty of them in the past, and even now, and when they set out on their rise to the top, nobody sees the danger that is coming. Most times, when society does eventually wake up, it is far too late and the damage is done. Often, they find their way into people’s hearts as good orators, born-again souls and inspirational ‘God created’ leaders.

When I was arrested I was prepared to suffer the consequences and would do all to protect the national movement and never to disown it during the trial. To me it was clear that this was less a trial in law than a confrontation in politics. I did not concern myself with the legalities, but the politics of the charge and my attitude to the indictment was to accept it as a generalized allegation, leaving the precise nature of the legal charge to emerge in the course of evidence, thus treating the indictment more as a statement of overall political allegation than a criminal charge formulated in terms of the law.

Asked to plead in the witness box, if I had to, I would have said “It is the Swaziland government that should be in the dock and not me… I plead not guilty.”

At numerous occasions I’m asked if I hate the police for arresting me, the government personnel and the prison warders who ill-treated me, and my answer is that “Yes, it is natural human instinct for the oppressed to feel some sense of vengeance towards the oppressor. But I have opted to hate nobody, to despise no one but the system of government that has created such monsters.

Our Core Demands are listed below:-

· Allowing for the leveling of the political playfield.

· Creating a climate for the independence of the media.

· Unconditional return of all exiles.

· Unbanning of Political Parties.

· Dialogue towards a Constitutional multi-party dispensation.

· The scrapping of the Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008, and the Public Sector Bill.

· Implementing of ‘smart sanctions’ on the country’s leaders.

The road to any liberation takes more than just rhetoric. Always remember that there is no GAIN without PAIN, no CROWN without the CROSS and no BIRTH without TRAVAIL.

The hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievement, but moral acts – to return love for hate, to include the excluded.

On behalf of my fellow countrymen and women, comrades in the PUDEMO structures, members of the Swaziland United Democratic Front, I humbly accept this Award.

I thank you.

Issued by Head of PUDEMO Publicity

Zakhele Mabuza

+268 7607 3453 (Manzini)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


The People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) would like to formally announce to our friends, allies and partners that our Deputy President, Sikhumbuzo Phakathi, has been released from police custody.

Phakathi was detained by sate security police on Monday afternoon and thus could not participate on the planned two days protests. In as much as we are disgusted that he was detained for two days without charge we, however, welcome his release.

We assure the world that this will not dampen our spirits as we believe that the struggle continues.

PUDEMO also takes this opportunity to announce that Phakathi will be having a press conference tomorrow at COSATU house starting at 11am.

For further details contact Philani Ndebele at

+27 76 942 3565

Statement issues by

PUDEMO Head of Publicity Zakhele Mabuza

+268 76073453

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The African National Congress Youth League supports the Global Day of Action for Democracy in Swaziland. As the ANCYL we acknowledge the supportive role played by the people of Swaziland during the period in South Africa when the State was controlled by a few who imposed the harshest inhumane injustices on our people.

Today we witness the harsh conditions under which the people of Swaziland are subjects to an absolute monarchy. The Swazi Monarchy continues to undermine human rights and at the forefront of suppressing political dissent in that country. This includes the recent detention of Trade Union activists both from Swaziland and South Africa.

The ANCYL condemns such arrests as an effort to undermine political activities in Swaziland. The ANCYL calls for a better life for each and every Swazi citizen. There should be effective improvement in the lives of the people of Swaziland by providing prevention and care and support to its people who are living with HIV & AIDS, who are in massive numbers and to alleviate poverty and strengthen access and provision of education.

The political, social and economic emancipation of the people of Swaziland must remain the most critical focus of the South African Government, neighbouring states, the region, the continent and the world. Good governance must be an obligation to the Swazi people. It escapes our imagination how the South African Government continues to have relations with the illegitimate Monarchy and dictatorial regime when the people of Swaziland continue live in poverty, in an environment growing with HIV infection. The ANCYL will raise the illegitimacy of the Monarchy and its negative impact on the people of Swaziland in the NGC of the ANC. The people of the continent look to South Africa, in particular the ANC for guidance and support and we can never fail them.

The people of Swaziland must enjoy political freedom, we will not sit by and watch whilst our neighbours suffer. The Youth League will raise the issue of bringing political freedom to the people of Swaziland. As the people of Swaziland participate in the Global Day of Action for Democracy, we denounce the undemocratic practices of Tinkundla and reaffirm our support for political emancipation of the people of Swaziland.

Issued by the ANCYL
ANCYL Spokespersons
Floyd Shivambu
+27 82 8199 474
Magdalene Moonsamy
+27 73 2688 269


The protest action that was in Mbabane

The protest action that was in Mbabane did not accomplish its intended objective of presenting petitions to the government. Once again the oppressive and repressive nature of the state was witnessed by the protestors.

In the first instance, the Minister of Labour did not come out to recieve the petition, a trend that has been going in the country for many years when petions had to be presented to government. The government wanted to send a junior office to recieve the petition. This shows the disgusting attitude the government of the country has towards its people.

The second factor causing the protestors not to present the petition was the arrogant, provocative and repressive behaviour of the state police. The police wanted to forcefully remove Wandile Dludlu from the protestors because he was deemed not to be part of those who should protest against the state. And police were acting on an instruction by the state which has given itself the right to dictate who should protest against it! In the process, the police assaulted and manhandled several protestors in the skirmish that ensured resulting to two workers getting forcefully and brutally thrown and held inside a police caspir that was on standby.

Earlier in the day the President of PUDEMO Mario Masuku was visited by state police acting on government instruction to take and keep him at the Police Headquarters in Mbabane on the pretext that he was not supposed to attend the protest aaction. Later on he was escorted home where he was placed under house arrest for the duration of the protest action.

This is the hallmark of the Tinkhundla regime. It sustains it power over the people through force, intimidation, harassment, fear and repression while it tells the world the direct opposite of existing concrete conditions.

This dictatorial and arrogant behaviour and tendencies of the state in Swaziland deserves the strongest and unreserved condemnation by the civilized and democratic world. PUDEMO condemns this undemocratic and disrespectful behaviour by the state. We have always expressed clearly over the years the arrogance of the state and all we got for telling the truth was to be labelled unSwazi, disrespectful and most of all terrorists.

However, this arrogance and terror ochestrated by the state will not deter us and the struggling masses of our country until the constitutional multiparty democracy is achieved.


Head of Publicity

Zakhele Mabuza +268 7607453


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

COSATU condemns the arrest of 14 SAMWU members and PUDEMO President Mario Masuku in Swaziland

COSATU salutes all its affiliates, the international trade union
movement and civil society organisations from all over the world for
their outstanding show of practical solidarity with the oppressed and
suffering people of Swaziland.

This unprecedented show of solidarity has contributed to the historic
numbers in the march taking place today in Manzini that has literally
brought Swaziland to a standstill. We also send fraternal greetings to
all workers and activists who have organised activities in line with the
global day of action in their own countries.

However, we take this opportunity to condemn in the strongest terms, the
extreme arrogance and desperation of the Swazi monarchy which has and
continue to arrest our members, the latest being the 14 members of
SAMWU, our affiliate. We also condemn the arrest of PUDEMO President
Mario Masuku around 11h00 at Bhunu Mall in Manzini.

Every arrest brings closer the liberation of the people of Swaziland and
we urge the people to stand firm in their demand for democracy, it is a
painful, but worthy struggle. We are also told that an anti-South
African phobia is being instilled by the Swazi regime as we are told the
government has banned every car from South Africa unless it's a guest of
the monarchy. This will not solve the crisis and problems facing the
country, but throw it into further degeneration.

We call on the world leaders to break their silence and act now. The
future of our region is at stake and we are all called upon to be
counted in calling for sanity to prevail in Swaziland, meanwhile, the
struggle continues.

We call on all our members to join the protest at the Swazi consulate
tomorrow (Wednesday) at 12h30 at the Braamfontein Centre.



The Global Day of Action for Democracy in Swaziland protest action as organized by the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) and the workers was a huge success. Inspite of the very hostile environment created by the heavy presence of the state police, a huge number of protesters bravely participated in the action.

At the core of the demands, is the call for multiparty democracy whose absence has resulted in the blatant miscarriage of social justice.

However, true to its arrogance, the state through the police occasionally disrupted the protesters. In one instance, the police forcefully removed the President of PUDEMO Mario Masuku on arrival resulting in a physical skirmish between the protesters and the police. Subsequently, another worker was detained.

There were other casualties though:

- 8 workers from SAMWU in South Africa were forcefully removed from the premises of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions and later deported.

- 3 representatives from Afrika Kontak led by Morten Nielsen were also forcefully sent to the airport for deportation.

- 2 workers at the Forum for Socio Economic Justice Dumezweni Dlamini and Thami Tsabedze were also detained for unknown reasons.

- 1 foreign observer named Sox was also detained.

Tomorrow the protest action continues tomorrow in Mbabane where petitions will be handed over to the government.


Head of Publicity

+268 6073453


Police raid SFTU offices ( CAMPAIGN HQ) in Swaziland

From Stiffkitten’s blog

At 8.45 today, Swazi police raided the offices of the Swazi Federation of Trade Unions. This happened only five minutes before the planned march of the Global Day of Action was to commence. The reason for targetting the SFTU offices was that the march activity was being organised and coordinated from here, and that the police with in doing so are trying to shut down the legal march entirely.

Sources amongst the organisers of the march have said that the march will continue as planned, however, regardless of the immense presence of police officers and vehicles on every corner of the city. Sources from within the Swaziland Democracy Campaign in South Africa have told Africa Contact that the Swazi military have also been deployed in an attempt to intimidate the marchers.

The police have also arrested the Deputy President of PUDEMO, Sukhumbuzo Phakathi, and it has not been possible for the laywers of PUDEMO to contact him yet.