News / World / Africa

Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist
2 minute read
25 Oct 2021
5:30 am

Eswatini: when will it be free?

Brian Sokutu

Pudemo president Mlungisi Makhanya blamed the royal family’s undemocratic excesses for the continued fresh outbreak of eSwatini protests.

King Mswati III. Picture: Timothy A Clary/AFP

In a final push to politically dislodge Eswatini King Mswati III – ending decades of the royal family’s grip on power – the country’s liberation movement, the People’s United Democratic Movement (Pudemo), which this week met the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) delegation led by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s envoy Jeff Radebe, yesterday stated the preconditions for lasting stability in Swaziland.

Pudemo president Mlungisi Makhanya blamed the royal family’s undemocratic excesses for the continued fresh outbreak of eSwatini protests, which have led to the killing by security forces of at least seven people.

Ruling out any tangible results from engagements with King Mswati III, as proposed by the SADC special mission, Makhanya said unless Pudemo’s preconditions were addressed, eSwatini was far away from attaining political stability.

These included an end to all political hostilities; the repeal of all draconian laws, including the 1973 decree and the Suppression of Terrorism Act; the unbanning of political parties and the release of all political prisoners; the unconditional return of all political exiles; an independent media and judiciary and an all-inclusive dialogue through a national convention.

ALSO READ: After African mediation, Eswatini king calls for calm

“Despite the painful experiences, harsh conditions and tate terror unleashed by King Mswati on his people, the people of Eswatini have remained steadfast, loyal and committed to the course of their movement,” said Makhanya. 

“This is the real Swazi movement. But it can only be what we make it together as a people.

“It is not by mistake that we have been consistent in our narration that the liberation of the people of Eswatini shall be the act of the people themselves.”

Founding of Pudemo

– brians@citizen.co.za