The vigil is growing sronger more supporters are signing our petitions and it is getting more publicity in the media back home. Our fellow supporters ACTSA replyed to the resent headline article that read ''Non swazis are paid to toyi toyi in London''.
The people who hold vigil in support of democracy and rights in Swaziland outside the Swaziland High Commission every Saturday are not paid; they volunteer to attend in their own time. Some are Swazis, some have visited Swaziland and some have never stepped foot on African soil but what they all have in common is a desire to support the people of Swaziland in their efforts to establish freedom and democracy in their country. The Saturday vigil is not organised by ACTSA but we have held vigils in support of democracy and freedom outside the Swaziland High Commission in London.
The plight of the Swazi people has been overlooked for far too long by the international community and I am delighted that the Swazi government has taken note of the Swazi-led demonstrations in London. All over the world there are Swazis who are at the forefront of organising and protesting for democracy and rights in their country. The support they receive is based on solidarity with their cause.In Southern Africa the Swaziland Democracy Campaign is an outstanding example of how Swazis and non-Swazis can work together for the common good of the people of Swaziland. ACTSA is the successor organisation to the British Anti Apartheid Movement, and many of those campaigning for democracy and rights for Swaziland now are the same people who campaigned for freedom and democracy for South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Angola and against the attacks of the apartheid regime across the region. ACTSA works in solidarity with the people of Southern Africa for development, democracy, peace, rights and justice for the region.
There is a growing movement across the world calling for an end to the denial of political freedom in Swaziland and ACTSA is proud to be amongst those standing in solidarity with the people of Swaziland as they work tirelessly for democracy and rights for their country.
Director ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa)
Mario Masuku recieved more praises from Democracy supporters AMNESTY PRAISES MARIO MASUKU The following is a speech made at the ceremony to present Mario Masuku, president of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) with a Democracy Award, in Denmark, earlier this month (March 2010).It was made by Lars Normann Jørgensen, general secretary of Amnesty International in Denmark.Amnesty International has for many years criticized the widespread persecution of opposition in Swaziland, and has within the past year, been particularly concerned about the consequences of the terrorism legislation, the government introduced in 2008. It is the organization's view that certain provisions of the legislation are clearly contrary to the human rights.
Amongst other things the act has caused random arrests of some Swazi people, mistreatment of detainees, and taken legal actions without a sufficient evidence base.
More interesting news from home is about the corrupt detecting Mswati gorverment.On 25 March 2010, the Prime Minister (PM), [Barnabas] Sibusiso Dlamini, answering a question from editors on why government has refused to register the MCC, hinted that there was no need for the MCC as the statutory Media Commission was on its way.The PM's comments confirmed recent reports by lawyers representing the media and helping to register the MCC that government had declined to register the MCC arguing that its objectives overlapped with those of the proposed statutory Media Commission.
The media is currently weighing options of going to court to compel the government to register the MCC. However, the media are yet to meet with the Minister for Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) on the way forward with regards to the MCC.This is the corrupt Gorverment's way of having their way of dectacting all the moves of the media.
We would like to thank all our suppoters to mention a few Actsa,Kelvin and Godfrey for helping with petition signing and playing the drum.
- Written by Thobile Gwebu
- Parent Category: News
It was a very warm day considering it is winter; people at the vigil were still fuming at what is going on back home. Mswati’s oppressive machinery was at the full throttle for the past month thwarting peaceful demonstrations, abducting and arresting student leaders. On a positive note the official launch of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign in Johannesburg kept our spirits so high with our coordinator Thobile Gwebu telling the crowd that IT IS THE LAST MILE TO DEMOCRACY IN SWAZILAND, she goes on to tell us that Swazis have suffered enough it is high time there is political freedom, democracy and respect for human rights in Swaziland. “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, she chanted. The gathering and passing crowd clapped, whistled and chanted FREE SWAZILAND!!! One passerby who stopped to sign our petitions asked why the king had so many wives and we told her that he picks a virgin every year and the lady said ……it is not me then because I am not a virgin ! A lot of people were worried that the world is watching while Swaziland is dying, one supporter was very angry that the UN is not doing anything to stop the horrific abuses and oppression in Swaziland. We noticed that one of the embassy neighbors was moving out and we realized that now that we have exposed the obnoxious regime they did not want to be staying next to people who have no respect for human rights. It was good to see our friends from ACTSA who have been very supportive of the Swazi vigil since its launch and they are running a campaign on Swaziland crisis and are encouraging people to put pressure on the ambassador in the UK go to the link http://www.actsa.org/page-1223-Swaziland.html. Thanks once again to Mark Beacon and his team. The vigil ended at 1pm with the singing of NKOSI SIKELELA AFRICA! (GOD BLESS AFRICA!) Our coordinator Thobile Gwebu explained to the vigilantes that the singing of Swaziland land national anthem will undermine our cause as it is nothing but the praise of the Dictator Mswati III. A lot of people stopped by to take pictures of our colourful l banner that was hand made by our coordinator Thobile Gwebu which reads NO TO DICTATORSHIP IN SWAZILAND!
- Written by Thobile Gwebu
- Parent Category: News
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
Page 2 of 3