I met the real Super Mario

I cannot claim to have met Nelson Mandela. Or Steve Biko. Or Patrice Lumumba. Or Thomas Sankara. But I have met Mario Masuku – the former leader of Swaziland’s biggest democratic movement, PUDEMO.

Super Mario Bros. is one of the world’s most popular arcade and computer games – a game that my sons still love to play in newer versions. A game where the hero – Super Mario – has to endure all manner of dangers in trying to defeat the main villain or antagonist King Koopa Read more of this post

Musa convicted and sent to prison

Former student leader and human rights activist Musa Ngubeni was convicted of contravening Swaziland’s Explosives ACT of 1961 by magistrate Joe Gumedze on Tuesday.

He was whisked away to prison after the conviction and is expected to appear in court on May 21 for sentencing.

Musa Ngubeni was arrested together with student leader Maxwell Dlamini in 2011 and charged with contravening the Explosives Act. They were both arrested during protests against absolute monarch King Mswati III’s government. Read more of this post

Swaziland Youth Congress calls for democracy at National Congress

The biggest youth movement in Swaziland, the Swaziland Youth Congress, called for democracy at its 12th National Congress last weekend. The congress was held in South Africa because of repression in Swaziland against organisations who call for democracy.

The main theme of the first National Congress of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) since 2013 was democracy and “reawakening youth zeal for liberation.” Read more of this post

Students must lead the struggle in Swaziland

In the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland the struggle to get a decent education is connected to the struggle for political freedom. Student activist Njabulo Mazibuko has written about what implications this understanding has for himself and his fellow students.

“We are not masters of our political fate, but slaves of circumstance. The paths of rationality are blocked, and as students we all have to take responsibility for addressing the political issues that are overlooked day after day”, Njabulo Mazibuko writes in his essay, which is called The Need for More Student Activism. Read more of this post

Maxwell’s trials and tribulations

Maxwell Dlamini blogMaxwell Dlamini finally walked out of prison in July, released on bail after having spent fourteen months in squalid conditions in the prisons of Swaziland’s absolute monarch King Mswati III. His crime was to have sung a pro-democracy song.

“Jail being the lonely place that it is, there are moments when you feel down and morally low”, says Maxwell. “But at all times I was motivated by the fact that our course is just, and I refuse to abdicate my responsibility or allow the state to break me”. Read more of this post

Released into the big prison

After having spent over a year in prison awaiting trial for having shouted pro-democracy slogans, pro-democracy leaders Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini were granted bail Tuesday in the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland.

Masuku and Dlamini, both high-ranking members of banned pro-democracy party the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), are charged under Swaziland’s Suppression of Terrorism Act, an act that Amnesty International calls “inherently repressive”. They have previously applied for bail twice without success. Read more of this post

Fra det lille fængsel til det store

Efter at have tilbragt over et år i fængsel, blev demokratiforkæmperne Mario Masuku og Maxwell Dlamini endeligt løsladt mod kaution tirsdag. De er begge anklaget for terrorisme for at have råbt demokrati-slogans den 1. maj sidste år.

Masuku og Dlamini er fra det lille enevældige kongedømme Swaziland, hvis demokratibevægelse blandt andet støttes af den danske solidaritetsorganisation Afrika Kontakt og Enhedslisten. Sidstnævnte støtter søsterpartiet PUDEMO gennem midler fra Institut for Flerpartisamarbejde. Read more of this post

Mario and Maxwell case postponed again

The court case of Swazi human rights advocates Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini has been postponed until March 2015.

The case was postponed pending the hearing on the constitutionality of Swaziland’s Terrorism Act in March, and was referred back to the High Court Registrar, pending finalisation of this constitutional challenge. Read more of this post

Danish political support for Mario Masuku

170613 Mario 019Former Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of the Danish Parliament, Mogens Lykketoft, has signed a petition that demands the release of imprisoned Swazi political leader Mario Masuku.

“I support the appeal for the immediate release of Mario Masuku and his colleague [student leader Maxwell Dlamini]. I have met with Mario Masuku in Copenhagen as President of the Danish Parliament. He is fighting for democracy and human rights in Swaziland. I urge Denmark and the EU, together with South Africa, to ensure their immediate release so that they can resume their political work”, Mogens Lykketoft said in a statement. Read more of this post

Lykketoft støtter demokratiforkæmper i enevældigt monarki

Folketingsmedlem og forhenværende udenrigsminister Mogens Lykketoft har skrevet under på den danske solidaritetsorganisation Afrika Kontakts appel om frigivelse af demokrati- og menneskerettighedsforkæmper Mario Masuku fra det lille afrikanske land Swaziland.

”Jeg støtter appellen om øjeblikkelig frigivelse af Mario Masuku og hans kollega [studenterleder Maxwell Dlamini]. Jeg har som formand i det danske folketing modtaget Mario Masuku i København, og er overbevist om, at han kæmper for demokrati og menneskerettigheder i Swaziland. Det er mit håb at Danmark og det øvrige EU i samarbejde med Sydafrika vil arbejde for, at de to så hurtigt som overhovedet muligt kan frigives og genoptage deres politiske arbejde”, udtaler Mogens Lykketoft. Read more of this post