Court bid to stop Swazi protests

2011-09-04 16:21

Mbabane - The Swaziland government has sought a court injunction to block a week of planned pro-democracy protests in a country were political parties are banned.

Unions said the demonstrations would go ahead across the country as part of a "Global Week of Action for Swaziland," stepping up pressure for democratic reform on King Mswati III.

Trade Unions, the only organisations legally allowed to hold demonstrations, said the government had launched a last minute injunction at the Industrial Court on Saturday.

The court ruled that the unions had to remove certain grievances from their list of demands, including a call to scrap generous perks for politicians, but the unions said they would go ahead with the protests.

The head of Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions, Barnes Dlamini, said: ""This time around we are not stopping.

"Once we hit the streets nobody is going to stop us from saying what we want to say."

The protests come as South Africa is poised to sign a controversial $343m bailout to help ease a crippling financial crisis in the kingdom.

Political parties have been banned in Swaziland since 1973 and Mswati holds ultimate executive, legislative and judicial power.

The demonstrations are being organised by a coalition of pro-democracy movements known as the Swaziland Democracy Campaign.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week slammed the government for its fiscal reform programme - the Fund's third negative assessment in a year - effectively dashing Mswati's hopes of accessing international loans.

The IMF sharply criticised Swaziland's public wage bill, one of the continent's highest at 51% of recurrent spending in the government's annual budget.

Protests are planned for the capital Mbabane, as well as rural areas of Siteki in the east and Nhlangano in the south, union sources said.

Rallies are also being held abroad, notably in South Africa outside the central bank, and in London outside the Swaziland embassy on Monday, the anniversary of the country's independence in 1968.

  • Strutmode Recordings - 2011-09-04 16:55

    Don't read news 24, they are nerdy story tellers who are angry because they cant get laid and get real jobs ,they are people who want to sit behind their computers and stir trouble from another country telling us their made up version of South African news, they are giving you false news and tell you lies, and the anonymous replies and thumbs up or down that you get on this site are actually them same nerds that work for News 24 that are replying against you, nobody how many nerds from news 24 wont like this post!

      umhlopo - 2011-09-04 17:15

      to me it looks like your interview didnt go too well

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