Swaziland lashes ANC over reform pressure

2012-03-09 22:01

Mbabane - Swaziland on Friday lashed out at the African National Congress, and the youth league in particular, over its pressure for democratic reforms in Africa's last absolute monarchy.

Government spokesperson Percy Simelane accused the ANC of forgetting the role played by Swaziland during the struggle against apartheid.

"We helped this ANC government during the struggle and today this is how they repay us?" Simelane said on national radio.

"The ANC-led government should not repay us the way that they are doing. We know them as our friends and neighbours. We share good cordial relationship with them, hence our disappointment with the utterances of their members in the alliance."

Swaziland is facing a crippling financial crisis that has left the government struggling to pay wages and keep public services running.

South Africa last year offered Swaziland a $368m bailout that comes with requirements for democratic reforms. Swaziland never signed.

The ANC's Youth League and labour unions have vocally supported pro-democracy protests in the last year. They have also called for a cultural boycott, urging South African singers not to perform in the kingdom.

The cultural boycott was initiated by Swaziland's banned opposition party Pudemo, and several prominent South African artists have cancelled concerts.

Read more on:    anc  |  swaziland  |  southern africa

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