Heavy security at Swaziland's square

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.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Rand - Dollar
15.54
-1.0%
Rand - Pound
21.12
-0.7%
Rand - Euro
17.59
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.16
-0.6%
Rand - Yen
0.14
-1.0%
Gold
1,814.56
-0.3%
Silver
23.52
+2.1%
Palladium
1,906.50
+1.5%
Platinum
987.00
+1.1%
Brent Crude
86.48
+0.5%
Top 40
68,282
-0.9%
All Share
74,956
-0.9%
Resource 10
74,510
-0.3%
Industrial 25
94,294
-1.4%
Financial 15
15,338
-1.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE