The democratisation of Swaziland: inside or outside job?

swaziland-pudemo-2013-194The small absolute monarchy of Swaziland is best known for its tourism, “unique” culture tied to its monarchy, and the cultural and spending exploits of playboy-king Mswati III, not for its repressive regime and ongoing struggle for democracy.

Swaziland is nominally a middle income country that is seldom condemned by world leaders and rarely mentioned in the international media, even though it is one of the most unequal, poverty-stricken and unfree countries in the world, and even though King Mswati spends millions of dollars on prestige projects and personal jets while his subjects starve. Read more of this post

Will Zuma’s South Africa demand democratisation in Swaziland?

“I believe that king Mswati III is under immense pressure even from his closest buddy, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma,” says Sikelela Dlamini from the Swaziland United Democratic Front, an umbrella organisation of the democratic movement in Swaziland.

The recent spate of pro-democracy demonstrations against the regime in Swaziland, which so far culminated in the mass demonstrations in March and April of this year, shows the increasing willingness of Swazis to face intimidation and police brutality to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the regime. Read more of this post