News24

Heavy security at Swaziland's square

2011-04-12 11:42

Manzini - More than 150 Swazi police guarded the square where pro-democracy protesters had planned to demonstrate on Tuesday, rounding up and detaining anyone standing in groups.

Outside of the square, uniformed and plainclothes police kept watch on the streets in southern Africa's usually peaceful tiny mountain kingdom.

In recent weeks, an online campaign has tried to rally support for Tuesday's protests, which come exactly 38 years after the current Swazi king's father, King Sobhuza II, banned political parties and abandoned the country's constitution.

Two reporters for a South African radio station were released on Tuesday after being detained for a few hours in Swaziland, where they were sent to cover the planned protests.

Talk Radio 702's report said police escorted the two reporters out of Swaziland's commercial capital. News of the reporters' arrest followed a statement by a pro-democracy group in Swaziland that five activists were arrested ahead of planned mass protests.

Observers have reported police putting up road blocks throughout the country in recent days.

An anti-monarchy movement has gained momentum since the government declared a budget crisis and proposed freezing civil service wages. But many Swazis revere the monarchy.

Comments
  • marco - 2011-04-12 12:03

    Both Swaziland and Lesotho should be part of South Africa as a 10th and 11th province respectively in my opinion.In Lesotho 40% of its almost 1,800,000 population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.Most of the Basotho people already hold jobs in South Africa so why not incorporate their country as a province into the Republic? An African Union report had already called for economic integration of Lesotho with South Africa but somehow stopped short of suggesting annexation.We all know Lesotho was made an independent country by the Imperial British to stop the Boers reaching to the golden beaches of the Indian Ocean.

      Juliaas - 2011-04-12 12:11

      Marco, You must be crazy. Just think of the enormous extra load on the taxpayers for those thousands of people who are going to clam compensation of all sorts. Even a breeding program will compensate you to have offspring's like rabbits. Thanks but no thanks.

  • Gorilla - 2011-04-12 12:06

    I wonder if any European country will come in and sort out the mess?

      Cuba12 - 2011-04-12 13:06

      They have no reason to, as the people of Swaziland have not asked for any assistance from them, and their has been no reports of overt violence against any peaceful protesters. Right, all we see is a bunch of people assembling in a square, and there is a heavy police contingent, nothing untoward and no reason for foreign intervention at the moment... and should things go South, have no fear, the mighty Floyd will be sent in Rambo style to sort it out :P

  • Gorilla - 2011-04-12 12:06

    I wonder if any European country will come in and sort out the mess?

  • giftmk - 2011-04-12 12:08

    The Swazis must know that no one can emancipate them except themselves. They cant wait for neibouring countries for assistance if they do basically nothing to achieve the change they are aspiring.

  • Old Man - 2011-04-12 12:13

    As one of the 4.9 million registered tax payers here in SA, already supporting 40 million others, I couldn't agree less with you @marco. Sorry, but let the Swazi's sort out their own problems - like we don't have enough already?

  • estee.mente - 2011-04-12 12:21

    It would seem only South Africans are capable of organizing a decent march in this region, guys from our neighbouring countries are just a bunch of sissies, wait until you hear them talk, actions speak louder than words neighbours, the truth is you are just a bunch of sissies

      estee.mente - 2011-04-12 12:24

      I really can't believe that these guys actually expect South Africans to hand them their liberation in a silver platter, they'd do well by taking a leaf or two from the books of our Northern counterparts

      Democrat2011 - 2011-04-12 17:20

      U write like u do not know history. SA was never liberated by SA alone. All these other countries that were sanctioning apartheid SA all played a part. So it is important to assist our neighbours, otherwise they will be flocking to SA. I can tell you now that those people are very educated. So mind your savvy jobs!

  • sentle - 2011-04-12 12:33

    I am glad that South Africa can help in this libaration.This is long overdue

  • manchabora - 2011-04-12 13:56

    Let the Swazi people sort their own mess and they are the only ones who can do that, Swaziland it is a sovereinty. Lesotho is also in a mess and they should clean their mess. The reason why these nations do not take up arms against corrupt leaders it's because most of bought South African IDs so they resort to go to South Africa rather than solve their problems.

  • Louis - 2011-04-12 14:55

    I see the influence of the R100m Youth Festival is coming closer to home after it started in Egypt ( according the big spenders statements).I wisj=h it goes to Zimbabwe also.Can't we help them?

  • joka - 2011-04-12 15:41

    Let the Swazi people sort out their own problems as they are doing it for a long time. They do a better job on running a country than SA. The most of them are keen followers of the king anyway. COSATO is just trying to conceal its own problems and weakness.

  • joka - 2011-04-12 15:42

    Let the Swazi people sort out their own problems as they are doing it for a long time. They do a better job on running a country than SA. The most of them are keen followers of the king anyway. COSATO is just trying to conceal its own problems and weakness.

  • joka - 2011-04-12 15:46

    Let the Swazi people sort out their own problems as they are doing it for a long time. They do a better job on running a country than SA. The most of them are keen followers of the king anyway. COSATO is just trying to conceal its own problems and weakness.

  • joka - 2011-04-12 15:51

    I lived in SD for a long time. What a lovely country! People must go and see for themselves and not listen to a bunch of lazy and ignorent non Swazi citizens.

  • shisanyma - 2011-04-13 12:52

    The media has a lot to answer. As a resident in Swaziland, I would like to know where Swaziland Square is. The views of marchers was in Mbabane and not in Manzini where yesterday's march took place. Scenes of marchers are mostly COSATU members and not Swazis. There were never 7000 protesters. And what is COSATU doing meddling in Swazi politics? We don't mess with SA policies. Media should be unbiased and factual. I no longer believe any reports - even Libya or Ivory Coast - it's all the journalist's perceptions! Artistic license does not qualify as news!

  • tembe.albert - 2011-04-13 13:29

    where is this swaziland's square, i was born and bred in swaziland but ive never heard of "the square". cosatu and their canadian allies must go and look for colonies elsewhere, like kubo congo, not swaziland... these international journos must also and shove their opinions-not reportings- to where the sun dont not shine...

  • patrickmayisela - 2011-04-15 08:18

    I think there is a lot that RSA can benefit when they incoperate LESOTHO as province #10; especialy the military. I can recall just a couple of years back when our top class military were embarrased, totaly outclassed when they attacked LESOTHO. Thanks to the Lesotho military for not following our beloved SANDF back home.....as we would of been vacuated to Zim or Swaziland. As for Swaziland, no thanks, keep your country an let us know when you need assistance with some relief progrem, ..... here in RSA we do not intend to start tagging our HIV positive women on the butts.

  • patrickmayisela - 2011-04-15 08:20

    I think there is a lot that RSA can benefit when they incoperate LESOTHO as province #10; especialy the military. I can recall just a couple of years back when our top class military were embarrased, totaly outclassed when they attacked LESOTHO. Thanks to the Lesotho military for not following our beloved SANDF back home.....as we would of been vacuated to Zim or Swaziland. As for Swaziland, no thanks, keep your country an let us know when you need assistance with some relief progrem, ..... here in RSA we do not intend to start tagging our HIV positive women on the butts.

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