Friday, April 22, 2011


Southern African exiles are to join the picket against King Mswati III of Swaziland in London on Tuesday (26 April 2011).

The protest is against the King’s invitation to the British Royal Wedding later next week.

The Swaziland Vigil and the Zimbabwe Vigil are joining Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) and the British Trades Union Congress (TUC) at the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London for the picket that runs from 6 – 8 pm.

King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, has at least 13 wives (the exact number is an official state secret) but it is not known how many will be among the entourage of 50 people joining him at one of London’s most expensive hotels. It is thought a room will cost the King about £450 (E5,000) a night.

One of the protest organisers is the Swaziland Vigil which has been demonstrating outside the Swaziland High Commission in London in support of human rights and democracy in the impoverished kingdom.

The Swaziland Vigil co-ordinator Thobile Gwebu said, ‘King Mswati is making our country a laughing stock but the brutal action taken against recent anti-government demonstrations shows how bad the situation in Swaziland really is. We would love it if the British government withdrew his invitation to attend the wedding because he is such a bad example to any young couple.’

The Swazi protesters will be supported by members of the Zimbabwe Vigil who are unhappy at King Mswati’s support for fellow tyrant Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe.

Venue: Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London W1K 1QA. The protest will be located at the main entrance to the hotel on the public footway in Deanery Street.

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