Communist World News

Unrest in Swaziland after only trade union banned and pro-democracy protests

In Africa on April 14, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Mbabane, 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 and others, last Thursday.

Anti-government protesters in Swaziland

The Trade Unions Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) was deregistered by the government on April 2, Monday last week. TUCOSWA was a merger of the only two trade unions in the absolute monarchy of Swaziland.

The leaders of TUCOSWA have requested the International Labour Organisation to intervene in the country on their behalf, writing them: “The Trade Unions Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) hereby request your organisation to intervene by way of a mission to Swaziland in the impasse of it’s deregistration by the government of Swaziland.”

Meanwhile, police have cracked down on the pro-democracy protesters who rallied against the absolute monarchy, last Thursday. The protest was organised by the TUCOSWA prior to it being deregistered by the government. People heading towards the rally in the second capital city of Swaziland, Mbabane, were stopped by police road blocks and compelled to return.

“These waves that are coming at them shall gather into the tsunami that shall push us into the democratic Swaziland that we fight for. We have been arrested, detained, assaulted, but we are not beaten,” said Mary Pais Da Silva of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign said in a press statement.

“There was a heavy presence of police and the army. It was difficult to organize anything. No one was allowed near where the march was supposed to commence. People walking in pairs were confronted by police as they wanted to know the nature of their conversations,” student leader Sibusiso Nhlabatsi told Africa Contact.

The demonstration was scheduled on April 12, the anniversary of when king Sobhuza II banned all political parties. The current absolute monarch of Swaziland is king Mswati II.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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