Swazi police shoot at demonstrators

Several workers were badly injured from beatings, rubber bullets and teargas fired by police in riot gear during demonstrations for better wages and working conditions in Swaziland on Tuesday.

Tens of thousands of people had stayed home from work and taken to the streets of Swaziland’s capital Mbabane, commercial centre Manzini, and smaller towns Nhlangano and Sitiki in demonstrations led by trade union congress TUCOSWA. Read more of this post

Released into the big prison

mario maxwell1smAfter 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

Halløj i retssalen i Swaziland

11709235_460888087422380_4248875424963014657_nEn journalist og en advokat bliver løsladt to uger før deres straffe på halvanden års fængsel er udstået. I mellemtiden er den dommer som dømte dem blevet anklaget for korruption. Og den højesteretsdommer som de var dømt for at kritisere i to artikler, er flygtet ud af landet, for at undslippe lignende anklager for korruption og magtmisbrug. Præcis hvad artiklerne om ham havde handlet om.

Desuden sidder manden som var justitsminister da de blev dømt ved siden af dem på anklagebænken. Han er varetægtsfængslet, anklaget for korruption og magtmisbrug, og bagefter skal hans appel om kaution høres. Han giver dem hånden og ønsker dem tillykke da de bliver frikendt. Read more of this post

Fagbevægelse lovliggjort efter pres fra ILO og Danmark

Swaziland PUDEMO 2013 256”Anerkendelsen af vores faglige hovedorganisation, Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), giver os retten til at protestere og marchere tilbage, og mulighed for at stille krav til regeringen”, siger fagforeningsleder fra Swaziland Wander Mkhonta .

TUCOSWA blev i sidste uge registreret og anerkendt af det lille enevældige kongedømme Swazilands regering, efter tre år hvor alle organisationens møder har været erklæret ulovlige, og hvor landets regime har truet, overfaldet, arresteret og tortureret fagforeningsfolk i Swaziland. Read more of this post

ANC pudser politiet på strejkende minearbejdere i Swaziland

Wonder (2)”ANC’s investeringsfond, Chancellor House Holdings, sendte en hær af kampklædte politifolk mod de 270 strejkende arbejdere på Maloma-kulminen i Swaziland”, skriver generalsekretæren for fagforeningen ATUSWA,Wander Mkhonta  i en pressemeddelelse.

Den lovlige strejke startede i sidste uge, efter at minearbejderne havde krævet en lønstigning på mellem 200 og 250 kroner om måneden.

Maloma-minen er ejet af det ANC-ejede Read more of this post

Swazier på besøg under kommunalvalg

”I mit land, Swaziland, kan de lokale myndigheder ikke implementere deres egne politikker, fordi kongen kontrollerer alt. Under kommunalvalget i Danmark, derimod, så vi hvordan valgprocessen er velorganiseret og gennemsigtig, og hvordan politikerne er ansvarlige overfor befolkningen”, fortæller Mario Masuku.

Han er præsident for det forbudte People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), som er det største parti i det lille enevældige monarki Swaziland, og han besøgte sammen med organisationssekretæren Wander Mkhonta Danmark i denne uge, for bl.a. at følge kommunalvalget. Read more of this post

PUDEMO follows Danish municipal elections

“I am surprised that Danish political parties are always looking for consensus. The ownership and respect for the process by the Danish people shows – why can’t we learn from that. We come from the old British political system where we are always contesting.” The President of Swaziland’s largest political party, the People’s United Democratic Movement, Mario Masuku, is speaking from a polling station in Gladsaxe, a suburb of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen.

Together with PUDEMO’s Organising Secretary, Wander Mkhonta, he visited Denmark this week to follow the municipal elections. The two Swazis were invited by the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy and the Danish political party the Red-Green Alliance. Read more of this post

Wander Mkhontha released on bail, not free

Asked whether his imprisonment would dampen his political activism, Wander Mkhonta replied “of course not! The threat of jail can no longer dent our spirit as we push for democracy in Swaziland.”

Wander, who is the National Organising Secretary of Swazi liberation movement PUDEMO and Deputy General Secretary of the Swaziland Processing, Refining and Allied Workers Union (SPRAWU), spent a month in prison on charges of sedition but was released on bail yesterday. His alleged crime –  being in possession of political pamphlets. Read more of this post

Wander Mkhonta granted bail

According to a statement today from PUDEMO national spokesperson, Zakhele Mabuza, Wander Mkhonta has been granted a bail of 15 000 emalangeni, approximately 1650 US$. Wander Mkhonta was arrested on April 12 for allegedly possessing 5000 political pamphlets, and the international ACT Now: Free Wander Mkhonta campaign started by Africa Contact has called for his release ever since.

“This is quite a huge ransom to pay for ordinary poor Swazis who live on under $ 1 per day,” says the statement. “But Leo Gama, Wander’s lawyer has been able to convince the court and secure the release on bail.” Read more of this post