Saturday 16 October 2021:- On Friday, 15 October 2021, the Swaziland military abducted three young students from their house, threw them into a fire of tyres on the road.
The incident took place in Mpaka, a rural town in eastern Swaziland. They were later rushed to the nearby Good Shepherd Hospital, in Siteki town.
Narrating the daylight nightmare in a short video clip verified by the Communist Party of Swaziland, one of the students said, “They [soldiers] dragged us from the house, accusing us of setting fire on the road when we never did that. Then they rolled us on the road, asking us why we had set fire on the road.”
The student reiterated that they were nowhere near the road when the protests happened and did not take part in the burning of tyres on the road.
“We were just relaxing in the house, charging our phones. The soldiers first assaulted us with sjamboks, kicked us all over the body, before throwing us into the fire. We are badly burnt and scarred right now,” he added.
Two of the military’s victims were treated overnight at the hospital and discharged on Saturday morning. One, named Bandile, remains in hospital as he suffered more severe injuries.
Meanwhile, two other protesters who were shot by the police in Siphofaneni on Friday still have bullets lodged in their lower limbs, waiting for treatment in hospital.
At least 20 more protesters across the country were either shot or assaulted by the police and military since Thursday, mostly the youth. These attacks took place particularly from Siphofaneni, Mpaka, Siteki, Pigg’s Peak, Manzini, Matsapha and Mbabane.
On Tuesday 12 October, the police shot dead one public transport operator who was among protesters in Malkerns town in Manzini district. More are reported to have been killed during this week's protests. Children were not spared from police and military violence.
Tossing people into fire has been the military’s modus operandi since June. On the night of Tuesday 29 June, protesters in Matsapha town watched in horror as soldiers threw some people and bodies into a raging fire near the Swaziland Beverages Company’s plant. More such attacks continued thereafter.
The youth and students in Swaziland have grown so impatient that they now demand more militant action from the revolutionary movement. Their anger has been aggravated by the insults from the absolute monarch who claimed that the students and youth calling for democracy are nothing but drunkards and are high on marijuana.
Communist Party of Swaziland’s General Secretary, Kenneth Kunene, said, “When the Party called for the formation of community councils, some of which would deal with the defence of communities, these are the issues that the Party was foreseeing.”
“The autocracy’s security forces have never served the people. The task to form Security Councils all over the country is now an urgent one,” added the General Secretary.
Swaziland remains the last absolute monarchy in Africa. Political parties remain banned since 1973. Mswati rules the country with an iron fist and is not accountable to any institution. The absolute monarch remains above the executive, legislature, and judiciary.