12 April 2012
TODAY, April 12, 2012, marks the atrocious and vindictive suppression of the will of the people in Swaziland by the then Swaziland’s autocratic ruler King Sobhuza and which continues today under his hereditary son and heir to the throne King Mswati kaSobhuza.
This day has became customary for the progressive forces of the world, particularly the trade union movement in South Africa under the leadership of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) to join solidarity actions geared towards agitating and propagating for democratic reforms in Swaziland.
We urge all South Africans, activists and political leaders to pledge their solidarity with the suffering people of Swaziland at the hands of the dictator King Mswati kaSobhuza. The working class and the poor of Swaziland should have a right to enjoy the freedom and democracy enjoyed by other people of the world.
It was exactly 39 years ago when King Sobhuza used his self-anointed and uncontested power to pass a decree to ban all political parties or activism in Swaziland under the guise of the backward and autocratic Nthinkundla system.
Since the formation of the National Liberation Movement in Swaziland under the banner People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) in 1983, July 6, which is a reliable and trusted ally of our own National Liberation Movement in South Africa led by the African National Congress (ANC) and the vanguard party of the working class, the South African Communist Party (SACP), this day has been declared a Freedom Day in Swaziland by all pro-democracy and progressive forces in the world over.
As NUMSA given our ideological and progressive internationalist outlook, this day forms part of our continuous Programme of Action (PoA) to provide support and solidarity with the oppressed and struggling people of Swaziland. Our support for a FREE Swaziland is inspired by the two fundamental pillars of struggle which contributed to the demise of the fascist and oppressive Apartheid Pretoria regime in 1994, which is international mobilisation and economic sanctions.
It is within this context that NUMSA as part of the revolutionary, internationalist and class orientated trade union movement under the World Federations of Trade Unions (WFTU) calls on the South African Development Community (SADC) member countries to politically clench King Mswati and the Royal family’s power until it conforms to democratic reforms and ends its flagrant attack on trade union rights and political activism bashing. The leadership of the SADC countries must end its budding romance and flirting with the King Mswati in the interest of democracy and liberation in Swaziland.
The continued shielding of King Mswati by SADC leaders is a betrayal and an insult to the starving working class and poor of Swaziland. Already the levels of poverty have boiling proportions amongst the working class, the education and health-care systems have been bloated and rate of HIV/AIDS have reached unprecedented and high numbers. All these social malaise are happening under the loop and noose of King Mswati, whilst his extended wives and Royal family is enjoying a glitzy lifestyle.
The reluctance or inaction to isolate King Mswati’s regime by SADC, particularly by South Africa given its strategic geographical location and political influence in the Continent, feeds quietly correctly to the assertion made by the late ANC President Oliver Tambo, after the then Mozambiquean President Samora Machel signed the Komati Accord with the apartheid South Africa in 1984, he said: “our brothers and sisters in Mozambique have hugged and kissed the most hatred hyena in the world”.
On this day, the Metalworkers in South Africa under the banner of NUMSA are calling for progressive and Left-leaning governments, liberation movements of Africa, Latin America and Asia to support the struggle by the people of Swaziland to overthrow the current dictatorship of King Mswati and the Royal family.
A fundamental question that our ANC, SACP and COSATU must answer is: How can South Africans enjoy political freedom whereas our Swazi brothers and sisters continue to languish in oppressive and anti-democratic rule? Our ANC government must act NOW to isolate the illegitimate and unelected Swazi regime.
The Swazi people are not alone in their quest to achieve their peace, freedom and democracy. We will traverse the journey with them until King Mswati’s regime smashed and replaced with a truly democratic and people’s government led by the democratic forces of Swaziland.
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