Danish party supports Mario and Maxwell

MaxwellDanish democratic socialist party, the Red-Green Alliance, yesterday sent a statement of support for two imprisoned democracy advocates to Swaziland’s government.

President of the pro-democracy party, the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Mario Masuku, and youth leader Maxwell were arrested on May Day, and subsequently charged with sedition – Masuku for expressing support for his own organization in a speech, Dlamini for allegedly shouting “viva PUDEMO”. They have been in prison since then, as they were denied bail. Read more of this post

Maxwell gets student activist award

Swazi activist and student leader, Maxwell Dlamini, has been given the All-Africa Students’ Union’s 2013 Student Activist Award, for ”the role he has played in Swazi and African students’ movements.”

”The Union truly appreciates your many years of dedication and commitment to promoting students welfare and development. You truly epitomize the spirit of this award,” the All-Africa Students’ Union wrote in the awards letter sent to Maxwell.

”I feel humbled and honoured to receive such a prestigious award in recognition of our many years of dedication and commitment to promoting student’s welfare and development”, Maxwell Dlamini said in a statement. Read more of this post

Court case against Swazi activists is a farce

The court case of two political activists in the tiny absolute monarchy of Swaziland is getting increasingly farcical. Secretary General of youth league SWAYOCO, Maxwell Dlamini, and political activist Musa Ngubeni were arrested in 2011 on charges of contravening Swaziland’s Explosives Act.

One example of the farcical nature of the case is the alleged “evidence” of the explosives. First, one of the prosecution witnesses, whose testimony had contradicted that of two other witnesses, claimed that the explosives were too dangerous to bring to court. Then suddenly the explosives had apparently exploded after a South African bomb expert had allegedly tried to assemble it. Read more of this post

Swaziland is deliberately traumatizing political activists

Swaziland’s absolute monarchy has a record of harassing, torturing and arbitrarily detaining political activists, and then either leaving them to rot in prison while waiting for the completion of seemingly endless court cases, or releasing them on bail, after which they must endure arduous bail conditions for years on end.

This harassment is both a way of trying to physically, mentally and financially break the individual activist, and a way to use him or her as an example to other potential activists. “Look what we do to anyone who is bold enough to challenge our power”.

And this harassment can have a profound effect. “Detention without trial  [or the endless detentions awaiting trial] is not only a punitive act of physical and mental torture of a few patriotic individuals, but it is also a calculated act of psychological terror against the struggling millions. It is a terrorist programme for the psychological siege of the whole nation,” Kenyan writer, Ngugi Wa Thiongo’o, wrote from his prison cell. Read more of this post

Maxwell out on bail … again

Swazi youth leader Maxwell Dlamini was given bail yesterday after a second lengthy detention and several delays in his bail hearing. Maxwell was arrested in April by no less than 23 police officers, charged with sedition and participating in an unlawful activity. His “crime” was to organize and participate in a campaign that advocates the boycott of Swaziland’s sham elections later in the year.

As is the case with other political prisoners, Maxwell has been ill treated by both the police and by prison officers whilst in custody. According to Maxwell, he has been beaten whilst in prison and in 2011, prior to his ongoing trial where he is charged with offences under the Explosives Act, he was tortured, as both Maxwell and Amnesty International’s 2012 Annual Report have stated. Read more of this post

Maxwell arrested again

According to a source within the democratic movement, Secretary General of SWAYOCO Maxwell Dlamini and Secretary for International Affairs Sonkhke Dube were arrested this morning. “They have been arrested and are in the custody of the Royal Police. The charges are not clear. Both of them were arrested this morning,” the source says.

According to PUDEMO, “about 23 Police officers arrested SWAYOCO Secretary for International, Comrade Sonkhe Dube. He was arrested at Matsanjeni. This Government is in a serious mission to silence and send more threats to the entire glorious movement.”

Last time Maxwell Dlamini was arrested he was tortured by Swazi police and put on trial for possession of explosives, a case that has been postponed several times. Africa Contact led a campaign for his release that saw his release on bail. Read more of this post

Swazi students’ explosives case postponed again

The case of Maxwell Dlamini, Secretary General of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), and former student leader Musa Ngubeni was postponed yet again Wednesday.

The case was supposed to have been concluded with the prosecutor’s final cross-examination of witnesses. But instead the he formally withdrew from the case, the third prosecutor to do so, citing ”own work commitments”, according to a SWAYOCO statement.

Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Ngubeni were abducted and tortured by Swazi security forces before a democracy rally in 2011. They were subsequently charged with possession of explosives, allegations they both deny, Read more of this post

Maxwell: boycott undemocratic Swazi elections

Maxwell Dlamini“We will not partake in these undemocratic elections in Swaziland unless political parties are unbanned. We seek to intensify our boycott,” Swaziland Nationals Union of Students (SNUS) President Maxwell Dlamini told Africa Contact today.

Maxwell Dlamini, who has himself been tortured and harassed by Swazi security forces and has currently been on trial for over a year in a case that has brought no credible evidence against him, also said that SNUS were mobilizing against this year’s elections in Swaziland, both at home and abroad.

“We as the youth of Swaziland commit ourselves fully to mobilise all young people and the generally oppressed people of Swaziland not to partake in these elections. Read more of this post

Maxwell harassed by police again

“The external region of SWAYOCO is disgusted and disturbed by reports that [Swazi] student leader Maxwell Dlamini was arrested [on Friday] for allegedly not abiding by his bail conditions,” SWAYOCO’s Wandile Mazibuko wrote in a statement published on PUDEMO’s Facebook account yesterday.

“This is despite that Maxwell has been religiously observing and abiding by all the bail conditions as set out by the High Court. If anything, it has been the state that has been giving this reason or the other for failure to capture on the record books his reporting to the police station,” Mazibuko continued. Read more of this post

No legal representation for Swazi student leaders in court case

“Once again the student activists, Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Ngubeni appeared before Magistrate Gumedze without any legal representation,” Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice (FSEJ) wrote in a press statement on Friday.

Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Ngubeni were both abducted and tortured by Swazi security forces during the so-called April 12 Uprising in April 2011, and were later charged with possession of explosives. Read more of this post

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