Swaziland Democracy Campaign and COSATU joint Statement on the Global Week of Action in Swaziland
5 September 2011
We, the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) fully backed and supported by one of the biggest trade union federations in Africa – the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and all its affiliated unions will be embarking on a mass action jointly as part of the Global Week of Action against the illegitimate and undemocratic King Mswati regime in Swaziland.
The Global Week of Action will be starting as from tomorrow Monday 05 September 2011 –until- Friday 09 September 2011, in 21 major cities across the world as convened by the SDC together with progressive and democratic forces in solidarity with the struggling and oppressed people of Swaziland.
We are honoured to have been assigned by the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF), the role of coordinating the global solidarity movement and we are proud to carry out that duty, as demonstrated by the ever growing forces in the world pledging their full support and organising activities to put pressure on Mswati, whilst supporting the cause for democracy in Swaziland.
If ever a time was needed to provide support and solidarity to the Swazi people it is now. The collapse of the economy, the divisions within the elitist regime, their inability to move towards democratization even when it imperils the bail out, and their continued violent and obstructive response to popular protest are all indications of a regime in deep crisis. The Swazi regime is paralysed by its own incompetence and inability to break from its corruptive and dictatorial practices.
Despite the character of the regime, the democratic forces on the ground have been dramatically swelling their ranks. Trade Unions, Faith Based organisations, civil society bodies, the legal fraternity, students, the unemployed and more recently, those living under the harshest conditions in the rural areas, have joined the ranks of the democratic movement, and are demanding that democracy, i.e. the people of Swaziland be given an opportunity to govern themselves.
This week protest actions will be taking place in Swaziland on every day this week, despite the regime going to court on Saturday to try and criminalize the protests, which are going ahead! Outside of Swaziland, there are pickets taking place in all Provinces of South Africa, to draw attention to the bailout strategy, and its weaknesses, and to call upon the South African government to consult with the democratic forces not the despots.
Throughout Africa, more than twenty different national trade union movements in partnership with civil society will be mounting marches and pickets to Swazi or South African consular offices as organised by the SDC together with the ITUC-Africa headquarters in Lome, Togo. The demand for an end to the Swazi Dictatorship, the freeing of political prisoners, for the freedom of association and for political parties and for a range of other demands captured by the SUDF led forces.
In other parts of the world, there will be pickets in the US, the UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Germany, Italy, Greece, who’s final and finer details shall be released soonest.
This is not the end of the campaign, but the start, but it is certainly the beginning of the end of the Mswati regime. It is bankrupt, economically and politically, and can no longer pretend to have the mandate of the Swazi people.
Over the next few months we will be escalating our interaction with the South African government, and the ANC and alliance partners to seek a democratic response to the Swazi crisis, and a response that puts the concerns and aspirations of the Swazi people at the centre.
We are happy that the ANC and South African government have been consistently willing to engage on this and other matters of interest to the Swazi people and the struggle for democracy. For that reason, we shall ensure we do so.
Zingiswa Losi – COSATU Deputy President – +2782 088 1242
Numsa Press Release