The Times of Swaziland Newspaper dated 13/06/2015 reported that another suspect has died while being tortured by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Royal Swaziland Police Force based in the Manzini Police Station. This was after the man who has now been named as Luciano Reginaldo Zavale, a Mozambican national, was arrested at his business as a hairdresser in front of his customers who were shell shocked at the comments made by the police officers when then boldly said that was the last they were seeing of him.

This all unfolded at 8:30am only for the police to announce a couple of hours after his arrest, that he had suddenly died while being interrogated. Of course he had died because they made sure they carried out the threat they made in front of his customers while arresting him. It has now been reported that these officers are being protected by the State, according to the Times of Swaziland dated 17/06/2015 they have been instructed by their superiors to remain in the police camp for their own ‘safety’. So their safety is far more important than their immediate arrest for the crime they have committed.

A Man has died in their hands and there is absolutely no one to answer for that crime! This is the injustice we are always condemning at Swazi Vigil and one of the very reasons that I joined the Swazi Vigil group of political activists. The continuing state of injustice and violation of human rights in Swaziland at the hands of King Mswati’s Tinkhundla System of government which is all about the benefit of a minority of his loyal friends while the masses of Swazi citizens starve and suffer without justice! Enough is enough! We shout for democracy and equality in Swaziland!

 

By: Siphiwe Mathabela

References:

1. Swazi Observer, Gashing Wound found in Luciano Zavale's head, http://www.observer.org.sz/news/pick-of-the-day/73808-gashing-wound-found-in-luciano-zavale%E2%80%99s-head.html, Date Accessed: 19/06/2015

2. Times of Swaziland, MOZ MAN'S DEATH: 3 COPS STOPPED FROM WORK, http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=Luciano+Reginaldo+Zavale&d=54049101562512534&mkt=en-GB&setlang=en-GB&w=eH9XMotm8der9NgqxWomq8Zx3KGWhRa5, Accessed 17/06/2015

3. Times of Swaziland, Zavale Was Never Tortured - COPS, http://www.times.co.sz/news/103254-zavale-was-never-tortured-cops.html, Date Accessed: 17/06/2015

 

The Swaziland High Commissioner in London, Mrs Dumsile T. Sukati, was left flustered when she was confronted by human rights activists at the Swaziland Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission on Saturday, 13th June 2015.

Mrs Sukati was travelling in her official Mercedes on her way to cucumber sandwiches with the Queen on the occasion of the annual ceremonial military parade Trooping the Colour.

The Vigil had noticed that they were being closely monitored by someone who appeared to be an official from the High Commission, which is near Buckingham Palace. Suddenly a car flying the Swaziland flag emerged. Unfortunately for the High Commissioner it was stopped by traffic lights and the activists pounced, reducing the envoy to hiding her face behind a magazine.

Swazi Vigil UK activists mobbing the Swaziland High Commissioner's car outside the Swaziland High Commission in London.

They demanded to know why there was no democracy in Swaziland and that King Mswati must go. When the car at last made a desperate escape, the High Commissioner was visibly shaken. Perhaps she felt better after a few cucumbers . . .

 

By Coodinator: Thobile Gwebu

Swaziland is being ruled by King Mswati III since 1986. He has been ruling the country by the 1973 decree which was proclaimed by his father King Sobhuza II banning political parties. Political parties are not allowed to participate in elections and there is no freedom of expression, assembly and association. As political activists, we are calling on King Mswati III to allow political parties to participate in elections and have freedom of expression without being intimidated by the 1973 decree.

The is no freedom of expression in Swaziland. The media is controlled by the government, as quoted in the Amnesty International Report of 2014/15 on Swaziland. There is only one magazine - The Nation - which is privately owned. The Nation is Swaziland's last independent publication, analysing politics and social development in the country. It's editor Bheki Makhubu was arrested in 2014 and is currently serving a two year sentence for contempt of court after a grossly unfair trial.

Women in Swaziland have no rights. Women are treated as second class citizens. Violence against women and girls is a problem, putting them at risk of HIV. The Swaziland Constitution of 2005 says, women have a status of minors and are being restricted access to government and economic entitlements. Women can not get loans from the banks and land from the chief without a husband or a son who is of age.

As a political activist I am calling on the government of Swaziland to respect human rights. Political parties, human rights activists and trade unions face harassment, beatings, arrest, unfair trials on political charges, ill-treatment and torture. The responsible people are not brought to justice. The government is using the 2008 Suppression of Terrorism Act and the 1938 Sedition and Subversive Activities Act to intimidate political activities. They restrict human rights such as freedom of speech and association. The president of PUDEMO - Mario Masuku - and activist student Maxwell Dlamini were arrested at workers day rally on May 2014, charged with terrorism and sedition for chanting a slogan and singing a song. Human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko and was imprisoned for two years in July 2014 for contempt of court after a grossly unfair trial merely for exercising peacefully his right to freedom of expression.

We will not stop expressing ourselves on democracy and human rights in Swaziland. Embili Swazi Vigil viva

 

By Lomcebo Khumalo

References:

Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2014/15: The State of the World's Human Rights, 25 February 2015, Index Number: POL 10/0001/2015, Pages 349-350; https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/pol10/0001/2015/en/ Date Accessed: 01-06-2015.