Swazi king hosts forum on reforms

2012-08-11 22:07

Ludzidzini - Swazi King Mswati III on Saturday closed a forum where his subjects called for democratic reforms, promising "expert" reviews but making no formal commitments.

"Experts" would be asked to solve the issues raised, Mswati told some 13 000 people who gathered at his royal palace in Ludzidzini, north of the capital Mbabane.

He discouraged public protests, saying the peace-loving Swazis believe in dialogue as opposed to "fighting each other".

The king promised to review a 2010 law that gave members of parliament a 30% salary hike.

But at the same time he urged teachers on strike for a salary raise to return to work after nearly seven weeks.

Mswati made no comment on calls to lift the ban on political parties.

Opposition and rights groups have slammed the forum, known as Sibaya, as an empty move designed to ease tensions but with no formal power in Africa's last absolute monarchy.

Protests have grown since last year in the traditionally peaceful kingdom, which is bordered on three sides by South Africa.

The country's problems are partly blamed on Mswati's extravagant lifestyle, supporting his 13 wives each in her own palace and high-flying international shopping trips, all paid for by state funds.

  • Gerda Malherbe - 2012-08-11 22:43

    Africa, I despair of you.

      wesley.nel.5 - 2012-08-12 06:22

      African leaders thinks everthing belongs to themselves and not to the people. Nothing will change, unless they remove him forcefully

  • matthew.patrick.925 - 2012-08-12 00:10

    The Bolsheviks had the right idea in deposing dictators.

  • pisciotta - 2012-08-12 03:50

    He is the Capital K in Kxxxxx

      stuart.steedman - 2012-08-12 14:17

      It seems News24 deleted my comment. Allow me to repost: PJP, whilst I agree that Mswati is a thieving bastard of a monarch, your self-censored racism of the K-word has highlighted you as the puddle of vomit you are. You should be ashamed, filth.

  • devon.riley.52 - 2012-08-12 04:19

    Not even queen Elizabeth spends nearly as lavishly. And what is the GDP of England compared to Swaziland? What a joke. And of course now he is having his joyride on the SA taxpayers bailout that's gonna run out soon if it has not done so already

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-12 04:49

    . It is a slow process, but the Swazi's have had enough of this dictator. They will get rid of him !!

      douglas.reid.921 - 2012-08-12 06:21

      They said that about Mugabe

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-12 08:20

      . The Zimbabweans have taken another route, as they wanted to avoid as much killings as possible, and have en mass, by the millions, seeked refuge in another country < SA. But for sure, they are counting the days that this mugabe monster drops dead, so they can return to their beautiful country, and be reunited with their families, especially , their children. But, not so sure, the Swazi's will take this route, they might very well go the Libyan way, and force this thug from power !!!

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-08-12 06:26

    Another expensive, useless, womanizing Spear. Wonder who holds the record. Only problem is we are paying for this joker. Only in Africa.

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-08-12 06:40

    King Mswati III of Swaziland is certainly an argument for regicide.

  • Lyndatjie - 2012-08-12 08:19

    He is no King or Monarch... he is a dictator - change his title!

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