Cosatu to march on Swazi border post

2011-03-28 14:26

Cosatu in Mpumalanga plans to stage a protest march to the Oshoek Swaziland border post on April 12 in support of the Swazi people’s struggle for freedom and democracy.

The past few weeks had seen protest action inside Swaziland by the poor and the working class demanding both political and economic freedom, Cosatu said in a statement today.

Cosatu’s provincial executive committee had taken a decision to provide active solidarity by staging a protest march against the “dictatorship of the King Mswati III regime”.

“We believe that this march will be a final push to the collapse of the Mswati regime, which is already limping and bleeding like a wounded animal.

“We regret that since the 1973 decree imposed by Mswati on the people of Swaziland, which banned political parties, banned political activism, subjected the people of Swaziland into the subjects of the King and his family, the socioeconomic status of the people of Swaziland is deteriorating.”

Among other things, more than 40% of Swazis were unemployed, the country had one of the highest levels of inequalities between the rich and the poor, and about 70% of the people lived below the poverty line.

Over 300 000 of the 1 million citizens depended on food aid, Swaziland had one of the highest HIV/Aids prevalence rates in the world (between 40% and 50% of the population), and the economy was centred around the royal family and their trusted friends.

“Cosatu has vowed in its provincial executive committee to intensify the struggle against the brutal and autocratic Mswati regime through protest actions including border blockages, pickets, protest marches inside and outside Swaziland.”

In this regard, Cosatu would stage a protest march on April 12 from South Africa to the Oshoek border post to press demands.

These included unbanning all political parties, unconditional return of all those who were exiled, media freedom, a democratic constitution, and freedom of choice and association.

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