Swazi king throws public forum open

2012-08-07 22:40
Swazi teachers protesting. (Jinty Jackson, AFP)

Swazi teachers protesting. (Jinty Jackson, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ludzidzini - Swazi King Mswati III on Tuesday opened a three-day "People's Parliament" where his subjects can voice their opinions in Africa's last absolute monarchy amid a teachers' strike.

Discussions started in earnest at Mswati's royal palace in Ludzidzini, north of the capital Mbabane, as people vented frustrations and discussed the direction politics must take in the tiny nation.

The opposition and activists slammed the forum as an empty move since it has no power, and the kingdom's only trade union federation called a meeting to discuss a response.

"This is nothing but a window dressing exercise to make the international community believe that Swazis are allowed to shape the direction of the country, when in truth in such forums the speakers are specially selected and the agenda not known," said Zakhele Mabuza, spokesperson for the banned opposition party Pudemo.

Mswati had summoned people to his palace on Monday, sparking rumours he might announce democratic reforms but instead he called for a forum, known as a Sibaya.

Mswati last called a Sibaya seven years ago before passing a new constitution.

Civil society groups boycotted it then, and Mswati snubbed a similar colloquium set up by non-governmental organisations last year.

The talks come as a teachers' strike enters its sixth week.

Protests have grown since last year in the traditionally peaceful kingdom, which is bordered on three sides by South Africa, where trade unions and the banned political movements are calling for democratic reforms.

The country's problems are partly blamed on Mswati's extravagant lifestyle, supporting his 13 wives each in her own palace and high-flying international shopping trips, all paid for by state funds.

Read more on:    king mswati iii  |  swaziland  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

“To infinity and beyond”….. As the Sun and the Moon move into Sagittarius you are able to let go of the emotional intensity of the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.