1 minute read
6 Jul 2021
5:48 am

It’s time for SADC to show some steel


In SADC, in the African Union and, indeed, even in our own ANC government, we don’t like conflict, we don’t like taking the harsh decisions, we don’t like standing up for justice.

Eswatini soldiers and police officers are seen on the streets near the Oshoek Border Post between Eswatini and South Africa on July 1, 2021. - Demonstrations escalated radically in Eswatini this week as protesters took to the streets demanding immediate political reforms. Activists say eight people were killed and dozens injured in clashes with police. Internet access has been limited while shops and banks are shuttered, straining communication and limiting access to basic goods under a dawn-to-dusk curfew. (Photo by - / AFP)

The people of Eswatini have risen up against the oppressive monarchy of King Mswati III – and are paying for their quest for freedom in blood. Sadly for them, though, we don’t think they’re going to get any help any time soon from that most somnolent of organisations, the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Its importantly named, but useless, Organ on Politics, Defence and Security has concluded its “preliminary engagements” with the Eswatini government, church groups, the Law Society and trade unions, as well as the Human Rights Commission. There will, no doubt, be plenty of talking, plenty of proposals...