Monday, April 11, 2011


This is a statement from the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN), one of the organisers of the ‘uprising’ it hopes will take place tomorrow (12 April 2011).

It says King Mswati III may sack his prime minister and the entire cabinet in the next few days but it will not make a difference to the way the kingdom is run.

King Mswati is an absolute monarch. It is therefore the power that the king has over the state that the country’s people must take away from him and his family, SSN says.



SSN Statement

10 April 2011


Mainstream political organizations in Swaziland should not make the fatal mistake of flattering themselves into believing that they are an indispensable part of the struggle, and that the Civic organisations, unions, youth movement and the nation at large will, upon reaching the desired state of the capitulation of the regime, feel an insatiable need to beg them to come and sit on the throne that they prepared for them.

This would be the biggest mistake. It would spoil an otherwise totally undeserving cabal and lead the country into creating another “royalty”. Every single entity must earn its seat at the table of Swaziland’s leadership.

Ready to Lead

Student leaders and civil organisations must not relegate themselves to mere pawns, or run-and-fetch hounds, in this struggle. They must prepare to form the core of a transition government and direct this country towards its destiny as a democratic country.

Any organisation or umbrella body of organisations that disassociates itself from the April 12 Swazi uprising by miscalculated statements which smack of scorn and use the language of the regime, are nothing but veiled enemies of the Swazi struggle.

Not a Fashion Show

An uprising is not a fashion show for its organisers to present themselves as struggle fashion models by way of showing pretty faces to the general public. The organisers of the Swazi national uprising should not be deterred by the comments of greedy mercenary professional activists whose sole mandate is earning salaries at the expense of the Swazi people. These mercenaries’ livelihood is threatened by the crushing end of the Tinkhundla regime.

Basic Demand

One of the demands that the unions tabled on the 18th of March and was regarded as “treason” by the regime, even though it was a legally legitimate demand, was the demand for the cabinet to step down. The basic demand now should move beyond that and ought to be the democratisation of the country. The monarchy must hand power over to a transition government.

In the next few days it must be expected that the king will dissolve his puppet parliament and cabinet. This should not be even viewed as a warm up towards addressing the people’s demands. The king has always fired and hired people as he wills.

It must be recalled that the current Prime Minister was also dismissed by sms in 2004 and made a scapegoat for the foolish and unnecessary “Disrespect for the Rule of Law” disaster when the Swazi government refused to honour a court order from the appeals court. The same hiring “claw” simply moved him to another senior position in the Swazi National Council (SNC). Four years later the king reappointed him as the man best suited to “strangle” Swazis.

It must be noted, therefore, that the king can appease the country by firing his entire cabinet if he wants to, and once the revolutionary fervour of the uprising has died down, recall them all in an instant. Once Swazis recognize the futility of sweeping the leaves of this tree that is an Absolute Monarchy, they will uproot it and burn it.

It is therefore the power that the king has over the state that the country’s people must take away from him and his family, not the changing of faces. Let the mercenary activists worry about faces. It is their fixation.


Ladies and gentlemen, children of the Swazi soil, the source of all your problems is that you have been systematically denied the ability to exercise your power. This power you already have within you, it is just a matter of organising yourselves in such a way that you are able to use it.

Were it not so, the regime would not be panicking at this moment. Regimes do not panic unless threatened. They might have the weapons but you have the power. Throw away Chairman Mao’s moment of lapse of concentration. Power does not flow from the barrel of a gun.

The power is in the people, as Amaru Shakur correctly observed. A gun is useless if at the end of the day it does not inhibit the people from taking what is theirs. In fact a gun pointed at the people, at wrong time, can be a liability.

At this moment in time, they have the guns, and you are on the verge of using your power to take the state. Use it.


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