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SWAYOCO Statement on Global Week of ACTION

We the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) join the Swazi people and the world in the 4th Global Week of Action as led by the Swaziland United Democratic Front, through its Campaign wing the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) in calling for a democratic Swaziland. As we engage the Global Week of Action Swaziland in crisis.

The blatant abuse of human and political rights in Swaziland by Mswati’s regime has reached alarming levels. The arrests of our leaders, PUDEMO President Mario Masuku and the Secretary General of SWAYOCO is a testimony to this. The brutal regime has demonstrated sheer arrogance to the people’s peaceful call for freedom and democracy. The failure of the regime to meet the five conditions set by the United States of America (USA) for it to be able to access the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), is a clear sign that Mswati’s regime is ready to cling to power at the expense of the people who are the biggest losers with the scrapping of AGOA. Thousands of our sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers who are currently employed at the textile industries are going to be out of jobs come January 2015 when the decision by the USA is implemented resulting in the increase in the already bloated army of the unemployed.

The lack of the independence of the judiciary is no surprise to us as it is a common trend for all dictators to have a highly politicised judiciary, so that it can punish its adversaries. This is a culture that was inculcated by the notorious 1973 decree promulgated by the then king Sobhuza 2. It is our firm belief as SWAYOCO that the doctrine of the separation of powers will only be achieved under a constitutional multi party dispensation.

As SWAYOCO we note with sadness the crumbling state of our health institutions, recently a substantial number of infants died due to diarrhoea, and these deaths could have been prevented if we had a caring government providing its people with medication.

The regime continues to disregard the right to education for all. The Free education campaign has dismally failed under the Tinkhundla system. Thousands of children are still out of school because of the top up system (this is whereby parents or guardians are made to add a certain amount of money on top of that paid by the government) adopted by most schools. With the high poverty levels in our country, currently at 63%, most Swazis are failing to pay this top up fees demanded by schools.

Recently, the government of Mswati announced that it shall be giving scholarships to only 3000 tertiary institutions. This is an insult to the youth of Swaziland that qualifies to further its studies. It is our firm believe that the money that is used in the military should be directed to human development because there is no external threat to Swaziland. The gap between the poor and rich keeps on widening by the day. The looting and plundering of our natural resources by the regime and its cronies at Maloma Coal mine and at Ngwenya iron ore mine at the expense of the local communities and the workers who get nothing from natural resources of our land continues unabated under Tinkhundla system. Through the looting of our resources the royal family continues to live a lavish lifestyle at the expense of the marginalised masses who live in abject poverty.

The time for decisive action against the Royal Tinkhundla dictatorship is now. We call upon peace loving people of the world to stand against Tinkhundla and join the Swazi people in demanding freedom and democracy in Swaziland. We the youth of Swaziland call for the isolation of Mswati’s regime, let Mswati and his cronies feel the pain of international solidarity. We call upon all young people in Swaziland to lead the struggles for democracy, freedom and a better future.

As SWAYOCO we demand:

  1. The release of the Release of the People’s President Mario Masuku, and our Secretary General Maxwell Dlamini and all other political prisoners from Mswati’s prisons.
  2. The decriminalisation of PUDEMO and SWAYOCO.
  3. The Removal of the Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008, which criminalises political activity.
  4. The unbanning of all political parties and the unconditional return of all political prisoners.
  5. An independent judiciary and respect of basic human rights.
  6. The respect of worker’s rights and the registration of TUCOSWA.
  7. The proceeds from Tibiyo TakaNgwane and Tisuka TakaNgwane should benefit the ordinary people of Swaziland.

As the youth we are not going to take oppression lying down the time for us to rise against Mswati’s misrule is now. Victory is within reach. Yes we shall achieve freedom in our lifetime.

SWAYOCO Statement

Issued by: Bheki Dlamini (SWAYOCO President.)

Date:  27 August 2014

President Mario has fallen terribly Ill due to horrible prison conditi


President Mario has fallen terribly Ill due to horrible prison conditions

The People’s United Democratic Movement’s (PUDEMO) President Mario Masuku has fallen critically ill at His Majesty’s Correctional Services at the Zakhele Remand Centre. He is suffering from pneumonia due to a combination of various horrible conditions he has been exposed to. He has grown physically weak, pale, lost weight and has lost part of his eyesight.

Having to be subjected to a poor diet of porridge, beans and the occasional poorly cooked cabbage has contributed to his deteriorated condition.

Zakhele remand centre has refused to put President Masuku in a cell well secured in terms of cold and bad weather conditions since his arrest on the 1st of May 2014. He has been further denied warm clothes and access to his private medical practitioner. Visitors who come to check on him have been made to wait for nothing less than five hours, including refusal of his own son to consult him in his capacity as a lawyer .The latter has been classified as a normal visitor, much against the law itself. 

Some of his comrades have been banned from visiting him. The ban was constituted after they brought him and Maxwell Dlamini newspapers deemed too political by warders. The reading material included nation magazine which is a Swazi monthly publication that is normally critical of the authorities, city press and Sowetan which are both South African newspapers.

Maxwell Dlamini still in academic limbo

Maxwell Dlamini, the Secretary General of Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), who was arrested alongside Masuku, continues to be denied the right to sit for his examinations at the University of Swaziland where he is doing his fourth year in Commerce. Much against the dictates of the laws of the country Justice Mpendulo Simelane overturned his own judgement that Dlamini should write his examinations. In what appears to be two shades of Justice, a convicted fraudster, a known king’s praise singer Chawe Mamba is allowed to further his studies while the 23 years old Dlamini’s future has been abruptly curtailed. 

As the Commander in Chief of the Correctional Services, PUDEMO holds Mswati III responsible for the abuse perpetrated on both President Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini. It will also hold him answerable in the eventuality that the condition of the President worsens to the point of death. 

PUDEMO demands that Mzuthini Ntshangase as head of the prisons should personally attend to this matter as soon as possible because it has become clear that his subordinates have not even the least regard for the law. As an awaiting trial detainee President Mario Masuku remains innocent until proven to the contrary. He should get fair treatment as per his health condition. His son should be allowed to consult him like any other lawyer. He must be allowed visitations and his visitors must not be intimidated with harassment and banning.

PUDEMO demands that Maxwell Dlamini should be immediately allowed his right to education by being allowed to write his examination.

PUDEMO remains deeply touched by the levels of cruelty and inhuman conditions that these prisoners of conscious are daily subjected to.

Issued by: The People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO)/ Office of the Deputy President 

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