Monday, April 11, 2011


S. African unions to block Swazi border in protest

AFP, Johannesburg, 10 April 2011

South Africa's largest labour group plans to blockade a key border crossing with Swaziland next week to support planned protests against the rule of King Mswati III, an official said yesterday (10 April 2011).

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) will seek to shut down traffic across the Oshoek-Ngwenya border post between Johannesburg and Swaziland's capital, Mbabane, in a bid to paralyze the Swazi economy Tuesday, said Cosatu international deputy secretary Zanele Matebula.

Swazi unions, civil society leaders and banned opposition political parties have vowed to take to the streets from tomorrow (12 April 2011) in massive protests against the regime of Mswati, Africa's last absolute monarch.

"What we're trying to do is to get Swaziland ungovernable," Matebula told AFP.

"We're trying to reduce the numbers of people going to Swaziland for the day and reduce whatever materials that are supposed to go into Swaziland. That will have impact on businesses inside Swaziland, which we hope will spark them to raise their concerns against the monarchy."

Cosatu has backed away from original plans to send members into Swaziland to join the protests, but expects 200 to 300 people to join the border blockade, Matebula said.

To read the full AFP report click here

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