Cosatu joins Swazi protests

2011-09-06 13:18

Cosatu has sent a delegation to Swaziland to take part in a week of pro-democracy protests.

International relations secretary Bongani Masuku said that 45 people from Cosatu, its affiliates and civil society organisations had joined the protests.

They were doing so under the leadership of Cosatu deputy president Zingiswa Losi. “It is about taking solidarity to another level and ... boosting the confidence of the fighting masses.”

He said the trade union federation had done the same in Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

Protest marches were also being planned for Friday in South African cities, including Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Durban.

Cosatu affiliate the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) congratulated Swazi workers for their protest against the “unwanted regime” and condemned the arrest, torture and murder of activists.

“We admire the bravery of the Swazi working class precisely because we are ashamed of our own government, which went ahead and granted a loan to an illegitimate government,” said Numsa president Mbulelo Mandlana.

He said Numsa would continue to be a safe haven for Swazi exiles, and promised the trade union would support the Swazi struggle for democracy.

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