Boycott, disrupt Eswatini's 'backward' Tinkhundla elections process - Communist Party of Swaziland

  • The Communist Party of Swaziland called on the youth to challenge King Mswati III.
  • The party wants a boycott of the "backward" Tinkhundla electoral system.
  • The military and police beat up the leader of the Swaziland National Union of Students.

The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) called on "consistent mobilisation of the youth for total democracy", against the backdrop of the assault of a student union leader by the military and police on Tuesday.

In a statement, the CPS said: "The youth must not be hoodwinked into participating in the backward Tinkhundla elections. These elections, no matter how many so-called 'radicals' partake, are meant to legitimise the ruling absolute monarchy and deepen the autocracy."

Tinkhundla is an electoral system that serves as a form of governance, based on traditional, administrative subdivisions.

Eswatini has 55 Tinkhundlas in the country's four districts. There are 14 in Hhohho District, 11 in Lubombo District, 16 in Manzini District, and 14 in Shishelweni District.

READ | Displaced people survive by eating grass amid discrimination in Mozambique

The opposition and pressure groups in the country say King Mswati III uses the Tinkhundla as a disguise for democracy.

King Mswati III's father, King Sobhuza II, banned all political parties in 1973 from partaking in elections. As such, people who enter the Tinkhundla electoral system do so on individual merit.

The CPS said that, to cut Mswati III's hold on the country, the Tinkhundla system should be disrupted.

"The CPS calls for the total boycott and disruption of the Tinkhundla elections process, to make the country ungovernable by the Mswati autocracy, to usher the country to total democracy," the party said.

Student leader attacked

Colani Maseko, the president of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS), who has a long history of resistance, was on Tuesday assaulted by the military and police, along with other students who "had been protesting for scholarships for all, allowances, better living conditions, and democracy", CPS said.

READ | Law professor detained in Ethiopia

Last Friday, Maseko led a protest to mark the first anniversary of the killing of Thabani Nkomonye.

Nkomonye's mutilated body was found a year ago, with student activists blaming the police.

Reports in Eswatini say that, on Friday, an estimated 2 000 protesters marched through the capital, Manzini, but police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. The march was organised by Maseko's SNUS.

It's alleged that Maseko was attacked on Tuesday by the military and police in retaliation for the Friday march.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can 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. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 614 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
50% - 3047 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
37% - 2224 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 206 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
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.