International pressure to ensure fair re-trial for ‘unfairly convicted’ Saharawis

International presence and pressure is necessary to ensure a fair re-trial, set to continue on March 13, against the Gdeim Izik Group from Moroccan colony Western Sahara, who Amnesty International say were “unfairly convicted.”

In 2013, 21 members of the so-called Gdeim Izik Group were given sentences of between 20 years and life imprisonment in a Moroccan military court for allegedly belonging to a “criminal group” and for acts of “deadly violence” against Moroccan “public forces in the line of duty.” Read more of this post

Zonke needs help to appeal unfair 15-year sentence

zonkeWhere is the campaign and help for the appeal of Swazi activist Zonke Dlamini, who was tortured and sentenced to 15 years under repressive terror laws three years ago, asks his co-accused, Bheki Dlamini, who was released without charge?

Activist Zonke Dlamini was sentenced to 15 years in prison three years ago, on February 28. 2014, for allegedly petrol bombing the houses of two Swazi officials, an MP and a high-ranking police officer. Read more of this post

Swaziland can learn from The Gambia

bheki_blogAfter a coup and 22 years of authoritarian rule, The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh conceded power in elections on December 1. Swaziland, another of Africa’s small authoritarian nations, can learn from The Gambia that there is strength in unity, says Swazi activist Bheki Dlamini.

Swaziland and The Gambia are two of Africa’s smallest nations, both less than 20.000 km2 and with populations below 2 million. Both got their independence from Great Britain in the sixties, and both are more or less engulfed by, and to a large degree dependent on, a much larger and more powerful neighbour. Read more of this post

Nye beviser på svigt i sydafrikansk vinindustri

bitre-druer-blogTom Heinemanns dokumentar, Bitre Druer – slaveri i vinmarken, har skabt overskrifter over hele verden. Lokalregeringen i Western Cape-provinsen har nu selv undersøgt forholdene på nogle af farmene, og kræver forbedrede arbejdsforhold for vinarbejderne.

Fem vinfarme i Robertson og Drakenstein-området er blevet bedt af Western Cape-regeringen om, inden for tres dage, at rette op på forhold, der er i strid med sydafrikansk lov. Hvis ikke dette sker, vil de kunne retsforfølges. Read more of this post

Denmark’s largest supermarket chain ditches Robertson Winery

screenhunter_4167-nov-04-15-54Denmark’s largest supermarket chain, Coop, stated Thursday that they have stopped selling wine from South African Robertson Winery in their Fakta-supermarkets across the border in neighbouring Germany.

Wine from Robertson Winery has also been removed from rivalling supermarket chain, Dagrofa, after the Danish documentary “Bitter Grapes” revealed salaries below the South African minimum wage and indecent working conditions at Robertson. Read more of this post

Striking South African farm labourers could go to prison

csaawu-in-front-of-labour-court-in-cape-town26 months in prison for the leaders of the union and a fine of 500,000 rand for the union, or about ten years’ salary for a farm worker at Robertson Winery. This might be the result of a court case between the farm workers union CSAAWU and the wine company.

The farm workers at Robertson Winery have been on strike for over 2 months, demanding a living wage and decent working conditions. Read more of this post

The bittersweet taste of Swazi sugar

screenhunter_4167-oct-27-21-36According to a new report from the ITUC about the sugar industry in Swaziland, the country’s absolute monarch uses sugar profits to sweeten his own life, leaving sugar-cane farmers and the majority of the population bitterly impoverished.

Sugar cane production has brought about more human suffering than development in Swaziland. Many people have been evicted and the general conditions in the sugar industry are atrocious. This is the conclusion of a new International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)-report, written by journalist Manqoba Nxumalo and human rights lawyer Sipho Gumedze. Read more of this post