Police break up Mandela memorial in absolute monarchy
December 13, 2013 Leave a comment
Leaders and dignitaries from all over the world took part in a memorial for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday in Johannesburg. And all over the world, local memorial services are being held to enable ordinary people to mourn the passing of, and celebrate the life of, Mandela.
All over the world, but not in South Africa’s neighbouring country, the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland, where police today broke up a memorial prayer service at the Lutheran Church in Manzini organised by the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF), “by brute force.”
According to a statement made by Wandile Dludlu from the SUDF, there is a clear connection between Mandela’s fight for democracy and justice and that of the democratic movement in Swaziland. “We love you Mandela and pledge to honour you by hastening our victory for democracy in Swaziland.”
For more information, call Wandile Dludlu from the Swaziland United Democratic Front on +268 76111676
According to an activist, “the police refused us entry but a few comrades defied and held the prayer outside the church gate.”
According to PUDEMO, “police continue to block anyone who comes anywhere near the Lutheran Church where we were hoping to hold a memorial to honour Nelson Mandela. Around 30 police officers are blockading the church and are denying even the resident pastor Reverend Zwanini Shabalala entry to the church.”
According to an activist, “police bring in riot squad armed with guns and teargas to stop peaceful Mandela Memorial at Lutheran Church Manzini. Brethren start singing Nkosi Sikelela.”
According to PUDEMO, “the memorial was later held on open ground just outside the church where it was supposed to be held.” PUDEMO President Mario Masuku gave the following statement: “Shame on the tinkhundla government for suppressing Swazis from mourning Nelson Mandela and in the process contradicting his principles.”
Statement from Wandile Dludlu, SUDF:
We have finished the service which had to be held outside the Lutheran Premises as police forcefully stopped anyone from entering the church.
About 20 police officers in uniform led by the regional commander Mr Tsabedze illegally, unreasonable yet unjustifiably used force to blocked the entrance locking inside the Lutheran Bishop who later preached from the inside of the fence while about 50 mourners and comrades stood outside the church yard to listen to the word of God. This came after representatives from the following organizations made their farewell messages to Madiba
1. SUDF by Mpandlana Shongwe
2. SCCCO by Ms Lomcebo Dlamini
3. SNUS by Mpumie Magagula
4. TUCOSWA by Vincent Ncongwane
5. CA by Reverend Zwanini Lushaba
Human Rights Lawyer Thulani Maseko took comrades through the brief history of the life and times of Mandela
The South African Deputy High Commissioner Ms Annel Van Zyl Spoke on behalf of the SA commissioner.
Bishop Mnisi of the Lutheran Church led us in a 15minutes sermon
Then SUDF coordinator made vote of thanks and at around 16:30 pm we dispersed. Defiance paid of like it did with Mandela himself