The vigil started at 10 am with a lot of discussions about the show of force by the brutal Swazi regime arresting and abducting student leaders who were trying to stage a peaceful demonstration. Furthermore, the savage attacks on unarmed and defenceless demonstrators, we hope the British government and South African government will say something on this issue. The Swaziland vigil is planning a joint demonstration with our friends zimvigil between the 3rd and 5th March to welcome the South African president Jacob Zuma here in London. A lot of passerby signed our ongoing petitions one to the common wealth that urge them to suspend Swaziland until there is respect for human rights and democracy, and another one to the British Government to stop supporting the dictatorship in Swaziland. We would like to express our gratitude to our Zimbabwean friends who supported us on Saturday Fungayi Mabhunu, Godfry Madzonge, Kevin Kamupila, Luka Phiri, Josephine Zhuga………. One our supporters from home had this to say “Dear brothers and sister of the Swaziland Vigil. We are all encouraged by your bravery. Your efforts will echoe the voices of other Swazis who have been strugling for democracy for the past 27 years. Keep up the good work. We are inspired.Embili Maswati!!
Students actions in Swaziland has resulted in six education institutions being closed UNISWA, SCOT, William Pitcher, Ngwane, Nazarene teachers and Nazarene Nursing Colleges.We have been informed by activist back home that there has been an abduction of students in Swaziland on 10 February 2010. In response to student protests, the Swazi Police abducted Pius Vilakati, President of Students Representative Council at the University of Swaziland; Maxwell Dlamini, National Organizing Secretary, Swaziland National Union of Students; Sipho Simelane, SRC member at the University; and Thembela Ngcamphalala, Vice Chairperson of the Kwaluseni branch of SNUS and branch organising secretary of SNUS. According to the Swaziland National Union of Students, their whereabouts are not known, except for Maxwell Dlamini who we understand was dumped in Sidvokodvo, an area located on the outskirts of Manzini.Furthermore we have since been informed that one of the students who participated in planned student protest march has been charged with terrorism.Sicelo Vilane of Siteki has been charged with contravening section19 (1) (b) of the Terrorism Act in that he was found with a Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) membership card bearing his name.Vilane, a journalism student at Oxford College, was arrested after he was spotted taking pictures of police officers detaining UNISWA President Pius Vilakati at the Manzini city centre. Initially the issue was about why he took pictures but when they discovered that he was a member of SWAYOCO police then became more vicious and decided to charge him with terrorism.Our Swazilandvigil COORDINATOR Thobile Gwebu phoned the commissioner of police on Friday to enquire about the issue and challenged them to release the student leaders she was informed by the commissioner that they have been released, we are still waiting for confirmation from home. The following is a notice for the launch of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign that will be held in Johannesburg. Swaziland Democracy Campaign’s historic launch in Johannesburg The hour of democracy in Swaziland has struck!
Sunday, the 21st February, will be a watershed moment in the struggle for democracy in Swaziland. On that day, the historic launch of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) will take place in Johannesburg. Progressive organisations from South Africa and Swaziland will combine in the Swaziland Democracy Campaign to accelerate global momentum for democracy in Swaziland. The launch will be preceded by a Strategy Development workshop where a comprehensive programme shall be developed to consolidate and advance the Campaign. At this time, thousands of people in Swaziland and students in particular, have demonstrated their courage and determination and their willingness to sacrifice in the fight for their freedom. By taking action, they have opened the eyes of the world to the royal elite’s scourge of legalised terror. In the name of culture, and divine right, the royal elite have ruthlessly protected their privileged position while the vast majority of the population live in complete impoverishment. The royal elite have used the tinkhundla system to spy upon and oppress popular and democratic activists throughout society. However, in schools, workplaces, institutions of higher learning and communities, there is resistance, and it is growing, despite an escalation of repression and use of the notorious Suppression of Terrorism Act. Following years of joint activities, marches and border blockades, the progressive movement in Swaziland and their South African counterparts have decided to take their co-operation to new heights, from the Joint Swaziland Action Campaign (JSAC), which was created on the 12th August, emerges the Swaziland Democracy Campaign. The SDC is comprised of organisations involved in the struggle for Swazi democracy in Swaziland and in South Africa. The campaign recognises and supports the democratic initiatives and efforts undertaken by trade unions, NGOs, church organisations, students and youth organisations, women and cultural forums, political movements and progressive forces in South Africa and globally to support the struggle in Swaziland. The Swaziland Democracy Campaign will popularise an initiative to intensify the call to cut links with the brutal regime and mobilise practical support for the democratic movement in Swaziland. As the crisis in Swaziland continues to its peak, let all of us vow to step up pressure on the ruling Swazi regime, and those who protect it. The following documents have been drafted for consideration and final adoption at the launch;
* Draft Public Declaration of the Campaign
* Draft Concept founding document
* Draft Programme of Action
A final list of Speakers shall be made public soonest. Meanwhile, these organisations from Swaziland have confirmed their Speakers as follows;
* Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) – Barnes Dlamini, Chairperson
* People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) – Mario Masuku, President
* Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC) – Alvit Dlamini, President
* Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) – Mduduzi Gina, Secretary General
* Swaziland Federation of Labour (SFL) – Vincent Ncongwane, Secretary General
* National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) – Thulani Maseko, Chairperson
* Council of Swaziland Churches CSC) – to chair proceedings on Sunday
Written by Thobile Gwebu
Parent Category: News