News24

Facebook group takes aim at Swazi king

2011-02-26 11:19

Mbabane - A Facebook group is calling for the overthrow of Swaziland's king, Africa's last remaining absolute monarch, through protests inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Lybia.

Known as "The April 12 Uprising!!!" it promises, "all hell will break loose in Swaziland" on April 12 2011 when "a hundred thousand men march into the country's city centres to declare a democratic Swaziland free of all royal dominance."

April 12 is the date in 1973 when political parties were banned, a ban still in place under king Mswati III.

Modelled on Facebook groupings in Tunisia and Egypt, the "April 12th" group says the winds of change will sweep through Swaziland next as "there is a large population of politically and economically disenfranchised people living under a dictator".

"We are a pro-democracy group. We are not at all affiliated to any political party or formation" the group's founder, Jahings Dada told AFP.

With under 500 members, the Facebook group is still far from its 100 000-strong target. The majority of people in this impoverished nation do not have access to the Internet.

Dada says the group also has street organisers in major centres recruiting people on the quiet. He only fears the authorities' reaction.

"The only misgiving I have about starting this group is that I know Mswati will send his soldiers to beat and kill protesters. It's a given," Dada told AFP.

Roughly one billion rand $142m of the current budget has been set aside for the police and army - roughly equivalent to the health budget in this country which has the worst Aidsepidemic in the world.

"Yes, we are spending a lot on the army but we are not anticipating what is happening in North Africa to come here," Finance Minister Majozi Sithole told journalists, "however, the army is there to avoid such situations."

The Swazi police have a history of crushing protests. Last year Swazi police arrested nearly 50 activists to prevent pro-democracy demonstrations.

Comments
  • wjsmit - 2011-02-26 11:28

    I knew this was coming next. Goodbye Mswati!

  • Ross - 2011-02-26 11:31

    This criminal is probably spending the same amount on his dozens of wives and on his luxury German motor cars. This smallholding has been under emergency rule for decades with the living standards deteriorating every year.

  • bosegoos - 2011-02-26 11:36

    Our government will in all probability give assylum to Mswati and his 13 wives (last official count).The Prez will probably discuss an exchange of assets for the interim.

      Chris - 2011-02-26 11:51

      Hope not Wife-swopping to be part of the deal. LOL!

      ming - 2011-02-26 13:48

      Beautiful wives indeed, If I was NO.1 I wouldn't hesitated to give him an asylum for the exchange of wives.

  • Moorosi - 2011-02-26 11:40

    Bye Bye Mswati, your times of making 'culture' your scape goat are over. The countdown begins. tick tick tick, dats the sound of your autocratic regime collapsing.

      Richard - 2011-02-26 11:55

      Sounds like Dexter lol

      lmduplessis - 2011-02-26 13:40

      As in the cartoon or as in the serial killer?

  • JCTF - 2011-02-26 11:48

    Good I say, except that we'll see more tax increases to pay for it.

  • Allin - 2011-02-26 11:50

    Next Bob must go

      Shisstirrer QBE - 2011-02-26 11:55

      And Jakes and Julie and the rest of Ali Baba's thieves .

  • Shisstirrer QBE - 2011-02-26 11:53

    Burn baby burn , when you gonna learn ?

  • briansmith702 - 2011-02-26 12:11

    I hope Zuma and his criminal ANC are taking notice that their time of plundering the country will come to an end!!!

  • Brendon - 2011-02-26 12:33

    Wheres the facebook group for us South Africans?

      tdk25 - 2011-02-26 12:46

      You are waiting for someone to create it while enjoying your croissant?? Take matters into your own hands

  • Freakfloyd - 2011-02-26 12:44

    Be scared, very scared, Mswati, Zuma & Co

  • Fani - 2011-02-26 13:05

    I too would like Mswati III to be overthrown. Now is time for Swaziland to be a democratic state like South Africa. In SA there is Zulu King, Xhosa King, Sotho King, no problem with that, likewise in Swaziland there must be a King for the Swazi people BUT the government must be democratically elected. Mswati your days are numbered, both you and Mugabe.

  • Perfume - 2011-02-26 13:37

    The throne of Ali Baba and his 40 thieves are being dismantled!!!!! People are sick and tired of being sick and tired of empty promises!!!!!

  • Perfume - 2011-02-26 13:46

    WHAT EVER HAPPENS ON THIS DATE ALL I PRAY FOR IS THAT PEOPLE OF SWAZILAND ARE HEARD. THE PEOPLE WHO ARE STARVING, THE CHILDREN WITH NO FATHER OR MOTHER DUE TO ILLNESS,THE ELDERLY WITH HOUSES FALLING ON THEM,THE CITIZENS IN HOSPITALS THAT ARE WORSE THAN MANZINI TAXI RANK TOILETS,THE EDUCATED SWAZIS WHO HAVE SPENT A BETTER PART OF THEIR LIFE GETTING EDUCATED TO UPLIFT THE COUNTRY BUT WILL NOT BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY BECAUSE OF THEIR LAST NAME OR THEIR POLITICAL VIEWS,THE SINGLE MOTHERS WHO STRUGGLE TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR KIDS BECAUSE THEY CANT AFFORD ANYTHING WITH THE PAY THEY GET,THE TEACHERS WHO ARE WORKING WITH LITTLE OR OUTDATED EQUIPMENT AND STILL GET PAID PEANUTS, THE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES WHO ARE LOST ON WHAT TO DO NEXT CAUSE THE ARE NO SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THEM BUT THERE ARE SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THOSE WHO KNOW PEOPLE IN HIGH PLACES, THE AVERAGE SWAZIS WHO CANT AFFORD BREAD,THE DAILY COMMUTERS WHO SEE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BECOMING SO EXPENSIVE THAT THEY JUST WORKING TO PAY TO GO TO WORK, THE SWAZIS WHO GET BAD SERVICES FROM GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS, THE LIST IS LONG AND WE NEED CHANGE. ANYONE WHO THINK THE CURRENT SITUATION IS SUSTAINABLE IN DENIAL, THE COUNTRY IS IN DEBT CORRUPTION ALL OVER,THE CURRENT SITUATION IS UNACCEPTABLE AT ALL. PEOPLE VIOLENCE IS NOT WHAT IS BEING PROPOSED HERE LETS NOT GET THIS TWISTED PLEASE TRY TO BE REAL LOOK AT SWAZILAND DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR SELF JUST CAUSE YO FAMILY WAS OKAY YOU WENT TO THE BEST SCHOOL NEVER SLEPT WITH NO FOOD U HAD A SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDY AND U HAVE A GOOD JOB THE SYSTEM WORKED FOR YOU FOR SOME REASON. TRY TO TRAVEL TO THE PLACES WHERE SWAZIS ARE HURTING THE MOST SWAZILAND IS BIGGER THAN MANZINI OR MBABANE TRY GET ON A BUS THE ONE THAT HAS TIGUMBU ON TOP CROWDED AND IS GOING WHERE WATER DOES NOT RUN FROM A TAP, WHERE LIGHTNING IS THE ONLY FORM OF ELECTRICITY, WHERE THE SHOP RUNS OUT OF BREAD, WHERE THE SICK JUST STAY SICK TILL THEY GIVE UP,WHERE THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE ARE UN EDUCATED AND HAVE NO VOICE CAUSE THEY DO NOT EVEN KNOW WHAT IS OWED TO THEM BY THEIR GOVERNMENT. SO WHEN WE SAY WE NEED CHANGE ITS NOT JUST FOR US IS FOR US AND THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE A VOICE,OR STRENGTH TO MARCH CAUSE THEY ARE TOO SICK. IF OUR LEADERS THINK WE DO NOT NEED CHANGE ARE FURTHER PROVING THE FACT THAT WE NEED CHANGE CAUSE THEY DO NOT SEE OR THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE, FUNNY ENOUGH IN THIS WHOLE MESS IN THE COUNTRY THERE ARE PEOPLE AND FAMILY'S WHO ARE FLOURISHING BECAUSE OF REASON WE ALL KNOW, WHILE SWAZIS DIE, THE LAW DOES NOT PROTECT THE PEOPLE BUT IT PROTECTS THE SYSTEM THAT WORK AGAINST THE PEOPLE. WE ARE FAR AWAYS FROM SWAZILAND AND ITS A LOTS OF US. MANY MAY SEE US AS COWARDS BUT WE DID WHAT WE HAD TO CAUSE OF THIS PROBLEM. WE FEELING THE PAIN EVERYDAY BEING AWAY FROM HOME IN DISTANT LANDS TRYING TO WORK FOR OUR MOTHERS AND FAMILY'S WHO ARE SUFFERING IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY. SWAZILAND SPEAK BE HEARD WE STRONGER UNITED THAN DIVIDED LET NOT FEAR DEPRIVE YOU OF YOUR VOICE ITS NOT THE GOVERNMENTS COUNTRY ITS NOT THE ROYALTY COUNTRY, ITS YOUR COUNTRY OUR COUNTRY,SWAZILAND IS FOR SWAZIS AND THEY SHOULD HAVE A SAY ON WHAT DIRECTION THE COUNTRY SHOULD GO. MAY WE HAVE A PEACEFUL AFFECTIVE MARCH.

      Perfume - 2011-02-26 13:50

      That is just one of the comments on the group page

  • Simon Botes - 2011-02-26 20:06

    Swaziland has a population of 1.2million. 100k people is less than 10% of the population. Which means even if you did get 100k supporters to support this, you still have far less than majority. I have lived in Swaziland and still visit every few years. This is one of the best African countries and has no real problems to speak of appart from AIDS, Maybe 12 April should be The April 12 Swazi Aids Uprising. The Swazi king is good to all and life is good in the kingdom. Why stuff that up? Just shows the signs of the times.

      adriaan - 2011-02-26 20:46

      Cant agree more. I moved from SA and now stay in Swaziland. Yes - there are problems - but this is truly a peace loving country - and certainly cant be compared to the North African countries. PEOPLE - when will you learn that you should not beleive everything you read and see in the media. Is "democrazy" really the best solution? I am not so sure - it just bring new problems.

      maseratifitt - 2011-02-26 21:36

      "The Swazi king is good to all and life is good in the kingdom." Simon: Perhaps you should give us a few examples of how good the king is to all. Is there no poverty in Swaziland? Is the king not one of the richest in the world? How did he acquire these riches? Does he share these riches with each and every one of the populace? Or is the king just a parasite living off the sweat of the Swazi people? I suppose you also would have said PW Botha is good to all and life is good in the Republic. People need to be free. Best wishes to the Swazi people.

      darrylv - 2011-03-17 15:01

      Simon, you obviously live in your happy little white bubble and drive with your wife through the lovely green mountains and think 'Swaziland is so beautiful and peaceful' while going to buy a candle from Swazi Candles, or sipping on a beer at Malandela's. I am swazi, born there, grew up there, I have met the king, and I can tell you he is a brainless idiot with no care at all for his people. He is advised constantly by another bunch of outdated corrupt Dlamini's on what to do and say! There are people starving there, children at the heads of families because their parents have died of Aids. The country (or kingdom for now) only has 1.2 mil people. With a little less corruption, and a little bit of getting off his fat lazy arse he can make the country a jewel in Africa. For now it is a peace of shit, and cannot even sustain itself it it wasn't for a SADC import/export agreement in which Swaziland benefits. No disrespect to the Swazi people, love you, God bless!

  • safrepublic - 2011-02-26 22:03

    Zuma and Mugabe should be very scared about now

  • Peter - 2011-02-27 07:55

    Some members of my family live in Swaziland and, for years, they have referred to the unhappiness of the Swazi people toward their king. If he should be toppled, and a democracy established, I hope for the fighting and bloodshed to be minimal. That is a beautiful country and I have considered moving there, to be where my father's family come from.

  • Cyril - 2011-02-27 08:44

    Ooooooh awesome-I like it!!!

  • Muzi - 2011-03-31 14:43

    Swaziland will remain a Kingdom for the next 50 years simply because the majority of swazis are content with the current system of Governance...so this so -called uprising will never see the light of day!! Mark my words

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