Communist World News

Swaziland monarch closes down only trade union

In Africa on April 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Lobomba, Swaziland — The Swaziland authorities have closed down the only trade union in the country after it threatened to protest against the absolute monarchy of 43-year old King Mswati III, according to trade union leader Mduduzi Gina.

“Yes, we have been deregistered,” the secretary general of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (Tucoswa) said. Tucoswa had threatened the absolute monarchy with a general strike and bring the economy to a standstill during protests planned for next week.

King Mswati III visiting the white house and reinforcing ties with Obama

Tucoswa was only a week old before being banned. It was a merger of the two trade unions, the Swaziland Federation of Labour (SFL) and the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU).

The impoverished country of Swaziland has been in a recession since last year and has seen the largest public outrage in its recent history, directed at King Mswati III. More than 3,000 students took to the streets last month when Mswati III canceled scholarships for students. Pro-democracy activist Wandile Dludlu said authorities were trying to dismantle the protests planned for next week since the two trade unions that merged no longer exist.

“This is a crackdown on the pro-democracy forces as a means to weaken the forces for change in light of the upcoming April 12 protests,” said Dludlu, who coordinates the umbrella Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) organisation.

The protests would go ahead as planned despite the setbacks, Mduduzi Gina said.

Mswati III is estimated to own 100 million US dollars and his 13 wifes each have their personal palace.

  1. […] Swaziland – Unrest is looming over Swaziland after demonstrations in response to the only trade union TUCOSWA being banned by the government. Meanwhile, police violently repressed the pro-democracy demonstration organised by TUCOSWA, among […]

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