Southern Africa: Nehawu Calls On the ANC Led Government and SADC to Publicly Support the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Swaziland

28 September 2013
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PSI affiliate, NEHAWU, staged a successful international solidarity picket on the 20 September 2013 at Jeppe's Reef border post in Swaziland. The picket was attended by more than 200 members and shop-stewards of the union joined by the leadership and members of the Alliance components, the ANC, SACP, COSATU and its affiliates including various progressive youth formations.

We were also joined by the revolutionary forces of Swaziland namely ,People's United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) and Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) also with its affiliates and youth formations including the National Public Servants Association Workers Union (NAPSAWU) and Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO).

The picket arose from the union's 10th national congress held in June this year which noted the despotic regime's brutal grip on political power characterized by high levels of repression, state violence and anti-union posture. This was demonstrated by the regime's refusal to recognize TUCOSWA as a trade union federation contrary to the 1948 ILO convention.

The picket arose from the union's 10th national congress held in June this year which noted the despotic regime's brutal grip on political power characterized by high levels of repression, state violence and anti-union posture. This was demonstrated by the regime's refusal to recognize TUCOSWA as a trade union federation contrary to the 1948 ILO convention.

We have also seen the continuation and consolidation of the 1973 Royal decree currently on its 40th year, which empowered the regime to ban political parties and thus suppress all basic political freedoms. In its desperate hold on power and the continued subjugation of the Swazi people, the regime is acting in a state of panic as evidenced by mounting arrest of political prisoners on a massive scale, the latest being the CPS Deputy General Secretary, Cde Musa Dube and many others including Cde Amos Mbedzi.

The union is pleased that the picket managed to draw the attention of the world on the undemocratic sham elections that were organized by the regime on the same day. There can be no free elections when political parties are banned and political activists arrested daily especially when the very candidates for the elections are imposed by the royalty.

Despite the fact that the country faces mounting challenges such as the collapsing economy and a sick health system, the royalty continues to live large. The royalty's avaricious greed is the main cause of the economy's collapse.

NEHAWU calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners and the unbanning of political parties. Independent political formations should be allowed to craft the country's constitution.

We continue to be concerned by the deafening silence of SADC and the international community on the current atrocities and plight of the ordinary people of Swaziland. Accordingly we call on SADC to speedily pay attention and intervene on behalf of the poor people of Swaziland.

Our union as mandated by the 10th national congress will as part of intensifying our solidarity work engage the Tripartite Alliance in particular its leader the ANC, to be true to its 53rd National Conference resolution of ensuring a consolidated Alliance solidarity programme on the Swaziland question.

We will continue with these pickets on all the borders posts with Swaziland culminating in a week long border blockade that will guarantee the collapse of the regime. We will also monitor and stage pickets whenever Mswati and his cronies visit our country's private health facilities as they run away from their collapsing health system. We call on our members in the health sector to monitor these vultures when they come to South African hospitals.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Office

For further information, please contact: Sizwe Motha (NEHAWU Mpumalanga Provincial Secretary) at 082 455 2897

Visit the NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za

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