Cape Town - The the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) has challenged African social movements and governments to support the struggle for democracy in Swaziland, ahead of an "International Solidarity for the Democratisation of Swaziland" conference on Saturday.
In an interview with News24, SSN spokesperson Lucky Lukhele called on the continent to be in the forefront to call for the reforms in Africa's last absolute monarch.
"Before we go to Europe, Africa must take its part in liberating the people of Swaziland. We are dealing with a monarch system in Swaziland, therefore, democracy is not going to be given on a silver platter. It’s not going to be easy to achieve democracy in that country we need solidarity," said Lukhele.
Early this year several social movements and trade unions called for the repulsion of a 44 year decree banning political parties.
The decree, which was passed in 1973 by the father to the current King Mswati III, "outlawed political parties, dissolved parliament and placed legislative, executive and judicial powers in the hands of the king".
In a joint memorandum, the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), the National Health Education & Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and SSN, said at the time that the Tinkhundla Royal decree was "a complete disregard of the peoples will".
"Well relatively yes. They have given the support. For instance, we have worked with Cosatu, [Congress of South African Trade Union] and the South African Communist Party. So, I can safely say they have given their support towards the struggle for democracy in Swaziland," Lukhele said.