Eswatini's king praises police crackdown on pro-democracy protests

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
King Mswati III, Head of State of the Kingdom of Swaziland, known as eSwatini.
King Mswati III, Head of State of the Kingdom of Swaziland, known as eSwatini.
PHOTO: Timothy A Clary/AFP
  • At least 37 people were killed in Eswatini during weeks of anti-monarchy protests.
  • King Mswati III praised the police for their "high work ethic and level of acumen."
  • The violence in the country of 1.3 million people sandwiched between South Africa and Mozambique drew international condemnation.


The king of Eswatini, Africa's last absolute monarchy, on Friday praised police who brutally put down last year's pro-democracy demonstrations in which dozens of protesters were killed.

At least 37 people were killed and hundreds injured during weeks of anti-monarchy protests that first erupted in June last year, in the worst unrest to hit the usually peaceful former British colony.

Human Rights Watch put the toll at 46.

In recent weeks, at least four police officers have been killed in what authorities believe are revenge attacks by suspected anti-government activists.

King Mswati III said:

I am very happy that even in present day, after you have been victims of attacks from terrorists, you have not stopped, but continued to uphold the oath that you took when you joined the police service.

"The high work ethic and level of acumen in your policing approaches should be maintained and continually strengthened," the monarch said, speaking at an event to celebrate the police force in Eswatini, which was formerly known as Swaziland.

Eswatini has traditionally stifled dissent and pro-democracy movements and political parties have been banned in the southern African country since 1973.

Last year's violence in the country of 1.3 million people sandwiched between South Africa and Mozambique drew international condemnation.


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.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
17% - 174 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
8% - 82 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
67% - 677 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
7% - 74 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.62
+0.9%
Rand - Pound
20.07
+0.9%
Rand - Euro
16.94
+0.8%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.61
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.9%
Gold
1,787.63
+0.7%
Silver
20.62
+3.7%
Palladium
2,246.50
+5.4%
Platinum
944.04
+0.7%
Brent-ruolie
94.92
+0.8%
Top 40
63,771
+1.0%
All Share
70,266
+1.1%
Resource 10
65,045
+1.5%
Industrial 25
85,829
+1.1%
Financial 15
15,741
+0.4%
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