Thursday, May 13, 2010


The following is a press release from the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (12 May 2010) concerning the death in a Swazi jail of democracy activist Sipho Jele.

The release runs for nearly 2,000 words.

To read it in full click here.

Press Release

Swaziland: When murder still can’t be enough to make the world roar in anger

The SDC takes this opportunity to note the growing global solidarity and messages of support from all over the world to the family, friends and comrades of the late Sipho Jele, who was murdered in cold blood by the Swazi police. Let us be clear, he was murdered because of his peaceful commitment to the struggle of the Swazi people and his banned political movement, PUDEMO, as well as his trade union federation, the SFTU.

We welcome more of the world to the reality of the situation facing the Swazi people on a daily basis. For a long time many have entertained the illusion of a peaceful and stable Swaziland ruled by a benevolent monarchy, which is deliberately spread by the ruling tinkhundla regime and some media institutions that refuse to expose the situation as it is.

The harsh reality is that the ruthless killing of our patriot and comrade, Sipho Jele was not accidental. We are certain that it will be shown to be a central part of a strategy to eliminate all forms of opposition to the system of oppression and greed. But it is also an indication of the growing resistance and willingness of the people to be mobilised. There is a new dawn of democracy being opened up in Swaziland from below. The people and their democratic organisations of civil society throughout the length and breadth of Swazi society are gathering momentum and confidence. In an act of desperation, when Maswati addressed his sycophants he made it clear that “akukhanywane”, a term to describe the throttling of all those defying his oppressive rule is the strategy to be used. There is no doubt that the regime is on the defensive when it has to resort to such barbarism.

The systematic murder of political opponents in Swaziland has a long history dating back to the days tinkhundla collaboration with apartheid rule in South Africa. It has intensified during the rule of Mswati with his war-cry phrase-mongering, including his 1989 call to traditional regiments to molest trade unions for being un-Swazi, particularly the public sector unions for going on a protracted strike in direct challenge to his failing government.

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