Thursday, April 14, 2011


Stiffkitten blog

by Peter Kenworthy

14 April 2011


Maxwell Dlamini and Swazi uprising front page news in Denmark

Although the Swazi uprising has been covered extensively in newspapers and other media outlets around the world, until now the Danish media has acted more or less as if the uprising wasn’t happening (with the exception of the Danish Broadcasting Cooperation (Danmarks Radio) and Jyllandsposten who have both briefly touched upon it).

Today, however, Arbejderen (The Worker) has put Swazi student leader, Maxwell Dlamini, on the front page.

Read an unofficial translation of the original article below:

The Police took Maxwell two days ago

Arbejderen (The Worker) front page, 14 April 2011

Student leader Maxwell Dlamini, and many other activists in Swaziland, in Southern Africa, are campaigning against the absolute monarch Mswati III for democratic rights and to better their lives. They have fought a long and hard battle but the uprisings in North Africa have given them hope.

Tuesday 12 April was chosen as the day for the ‘Swazi Uprising’. The police tried to paralyze protests by taking the leaders of the uprising.

- We have still not heard from Maxwell Dlamini, or many of the other detained democracy activists, says Thamsanca Tsabedze.

Maxwell Dlamini is a student leader in Swaziland. He visited Denmark in November of last year, invited by Danish Solidarity Organization Africa Contact. At the time he told The Worker that the King’s Police had previously threatened to throw him in a river full of crocodiles.

Several hundred activists have allegedly been apprehended by police. Some were driven over 100 km away from the capital and abandoned. ”As many as to 200 people were abducted from the streets of Manzini and Mbabane and driven out into the woods far from town,” says the Swaziland Solidarity Network.

All opposition parties are banned in Swaziland. Leader Mario Masuku from the largest of the banned parties, PUDEMO, was put under house arrest Tuesday morning. In spite of several pre-emptive arrests of other leaders and many other arrests in the streets, there were large protests throughout the day.

At Swaziland’s border with South Africa, several hundreds of people from the South African trade federation COSATU had arranged a solidarity demonstration. They delivered a statement addressed to King Mswati, demanding that the king repeals the ban on political parties, removes media censorship, and ends the forced exile of political opponents.

If the king does not meet these requirements, COSATU threatens to block all transport and trade between South Africa and Swaziland.

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