South African CP, SACP supports the people of Swaziland struggling for democracy, strongly condemns the violence unleashed by the state against the people

7/2/21 3:39 PM
  • South Africa, South African Communist Party En Africa Communist and workers' parties

SACP supports the people of Swaziland struggling for democracy, strongly condemns the violence unleashed by the state against the people 

The South African Communist Party (SACP) stands in solidarity with and supports the people of Swaziland struggling for democracy, human rights, and inclusive development. The violence unleashed by the absolute monarch through the military and other organs of the security apparatus against the people is outrageous. The SACP conveys its deepest condolences to the families of protesters who have been killed by the autocracy and sends wishes of speedy recovery to those who have been injured.

The current protests, which began in May with the demand for an end to police violence, are justified. Mswati’s government responded to peaceful protesters with brute force. Unprecedented number of killings by the Swaziland police and military continue to be recorded.

A martial law is now practically in place in Swaziland, though not officially declared. The countrywide internet blackout, deployment of the army into communities to harass the people, the random killing of protesters, and other anti-democracy draconian measures, clearly show that Mswati is unwilling to give way to a transition to democracy.

The SACP strongly condemns the violence by the state and calls for a thorough independent investigation by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union and the United Nations. The investigation must be followed by those responsible held to account for the brutality they ordered or carried out against the people and for their other human rights violations.

South Africa should develop an active leading role to assist the people of Swaziland to achieve peace, a transition to democracy, and inclusive development as part of the wider democratisation of the entire SADC region and advancing towards greater regional integration underpinned by democracy in all states.

The SACP totally supports the Swazi people’s demands for the unconditional unbanning of political parties, unconditional release of political prisoners, and unconditional return of political exiles with immediate effect. The SACP also supports the demands for the recognition and respect of the rights to freedom of assembly, movement, association, and speech, among others, including free media.

South African-based corporations doing business in Swaziland must take the plight of the Swazi people seriously and consider halting their operations in that country until the state ceases violence against the people unconditionally and with immediate effect. The return of the operations should be conditional on the state committing to inclusive and meaningful negotiations towards democracy, starting with the unconditional unbanning of political parties, the unconditional release of political prisoners, and the unconditional return of exiles with immediate effect. 

The people of Swaziland have been waging the struggle for democracy since the imposition of the absolute-monarchy rule in 1973 when political parties and activities were banned. Over the decades, the regime has destroyed the country’s economy, violently suppressed dissenting views, and worsened the situation of the people, particularly the working class, with increasing poverty.

Consequent to the tinkhundla rule, close to 70 per cent of the people of Swaziland live below the poverty line, with many forced out of their country to search for better opportunities in other countries. South Africa is the number one receiving country of the forced socio-economic and political migration and is host to most political exiles from Swaziland.

The SACP calls upon the working class of the world to make their voices heard in the call for democracy in Swaziland, for a people’s government.