The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) condemns in the strongest terms the arson attack on the home of the President of the Peoples United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) comrade Mlungisi Makhanya. According to a press statement issued by the movement, the attack took place in the early hours of Tuesday morning. It is alleged that the regime of King Mswati has been training an arson squad to burn down the homes of leaders of the mass democratic movement and the latest victim of such an attack, is the President of PUDEMO.

We condemn this violent and brutal attack by the monarchy in Eswatini which has been relentlessly attacking its own people for years. There is no democracy because the country is ruled by an absolute monarchy. Political parties have been banned since 1973 and are officially banned from contesting elections. All legislative, executive, and judicial powers are vested in the monarch and King Mswati III.

The regime has increased attacks against its citizens in recent months. Hundreds of activists have been detained, whilst others have been exiled. Countless people, including children have been killed and wounded by members of the military and the police because the regime of King Mswati is ruthless and is violently clamping down on peaceful protests in that country.

NUMSA supports the demands of the people of Eswatini who are fighting for freedom, democracy and equality. We support their demands for the unbanning of political parties and the immediate release of political prisoners. We support their demands for the right to freedom of association, assembly and freedom of expression.

NUMSA is joining the voices of other progressive formations like Abahlali baseMjondolo who are condemning this violent attack. We stand in solidarity with PUDEMO and all peace loving people in that country who are fighting for an end to the dictatorship of the monarch. We call on all progressive formations all over the world to support the people of Eswatini and to help them fight against this brutal regime.

Issued by Irvin Jim

NUMSA General Secretary

For more information, please contact: Phakamile Hlubi-Majola

NUMSA National Spokesperson 0833767725

NUMSA Head Office number: 0116891700

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