Thursday, April 14, 2011


A statement from the Swaziland Solidarity Network

14 April 2011



Dear Swazis, children of our Mother, Africa, it is with deep sadness and anger that we address you today. The events of the past few days, where the government of Swaziland used the most inhumane and brutal tactics to quell a peaceful protest in the eyes of the entire world, have left our organisation fuming.

However, it will come as a surprise to you, and the rest of the world, that we are not angry at the Swazi government. No. Those imbeciles did exactly what they had planned to do and to a large extent they succeeded. We are angry at you.

Amilcar Cabral’s famous saying is appropriate here. You must not claim any easy victories. Tell no lies, comrades. You clearly have no idea who you are or who you descend from. That is the reason why we are angry at you: All of you.

The Swazis whom we know are a nation of warriors, proud and brave. Throughout history (not the history you have been spoon fed by Ematfonga aka Tembe) the Swazi nation, despite its size has survived numerous attacks from larger, more organised nation tribes.

In all those defence campaigns it was the ordinary Swazis, your own grandparents, who were at the forefront, defending this nation. No king, no matter how brave he was, ever spearheaded a military campaign.

Today, their descendants have the nerve to treat you like slaves in the same country that your ancestors died defending. They tell you to be content with having your meagre salaries reduced, while they host lavish parties using your own taxes and live Hollywood stars.

They claim to be “closer to God” and that they cannot eat from the same “Umgcwembe” as you because you are meaningless serfs to them. This is said by senior princes in your faces, and for the whole world to hear.

When you peacefully protest this, they send out your own brothers and sisters to humiliate you. You have been detained at will, raped, abducted and abandoned in forests. Teachers could not even hold a meeting in the outskirts of the town last evening.

All you can do in response to all this is cry to the world and start doubting whether to continue with your protests or not.

Swazis, perhaps you are unaware, perhaps you have been misled: The government of Swaziland HAS NO MONEY. They will no longer be able to pay civil servants at all. The greedy king just wants to have one more party before he watches the country turn into another Zimbabwe – a country with a failed economy - while he and his family live in luxury.

Yet in the midst of all of this, you are still entertaining clowns who have the nerve to tell you to abandon your protests just because you were beaten. Get this straight; this is by no means an attempt to downplay the physical pain of clubs, teargas and rubber bullets. By no means should you allow anyone to continue beating you.

However, there are two ways to respond to a beating and both have a reinforcing effect on your oppressors. As Bantu Steven Biko once said, the most potent weapon in King Mswati’s hands is how you have chosen to define response to his barbarity.

You can choose, of you want to, to end the protests and in the process send a clear a message to your government that as far as Swaziland is concerned the best way to deal with protests is clubs and teargas.

After all, history proves that these Swazis who have forgotten who they are will cower and go back to their daily routine after being beaten. The alternative is fighting back. Yes, we said it, fight back. Send a clear message to the regime that their methods are backward and ineffective.

When you are pressed into a corner, you ought to find a deterrent to the beatings meted out on you. There is nothing complicated about this. Never consider yourselves unarmed. Women in South Africa in the eighties used to fight against IFP impis by pouring buckets of boiling water on them. It worked.

Discard all notions that these are law enforcement agencies. No law enforcement agencies can ever have so much disregard for the law and basic human rights. These are mercenary agents of oppression, through and through. And agents of oppression have no place in any society.

This, the world knows.

Perhaps there are a few amongst you who still believe that the world will put pressure on the government and come to your rescue. Let us be honest with ourselves, comrades.

Amongst brothers, no state gives a damn about Swaziland’s poor and down trodden. They barely care about their own people, and here you are foolishly expecting them to care about you.

If they did care about you, they would have already come to your defence. They sent a clear message to Mubarak in Egypt, they armed Libya and they ousted Gbagbo, humiliating him in front of the world.

You, they leave to be punching bags to this evil regime.

Was it not your own neighbouring countries that sold arms to your government, and allowed others to pass through them, when they knew its murderous tendencies very well?

When bombarded with questions on the Swazi problem they swore on their mantra of “We respect National Sovereignty”. “National sovereignty”, while selling weapons to a desperately poor country threatened by political upheavals?” Perhaps to them the names Sipho Jele, Didiza Tsabedze and Mathousand Ngubeni mean nothing. They are just incomprehensible sounds.

These were our brothers. They all died in the hands of the state’s security forces. None of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes were punished. It was business as usual for an evil regime that feeds off its people’s blood. Bloody vampires!

You cannot blame the world for not taking you seriously. Nobody takes people who do not know their true worth seriously. How can a Regicidal French nation or the all conquering military masters of the world, the U.S.A, give a damn about a few Swazis who are bawling just because they were beaten with clubs at their king’s orders.

The world’s governments couldn’t be bothered because you, Swazis, know not what you are worth or who you are. If you did know your true worth, you would never let these ungrateful fools, who feed off your wealth, give out orders that you be beat up like dogs.

King Mswati must be ousted and hung with his servant, in ritual killings, David Simelane. Send a clear message to the world that “This is what we do with dictators”, so that the next imbecile who harbours thoughts of acting like him shivers to his very soul.

By the time this message gets to you, you will be entering the third day of your beatings.

That is what they are, after all. You have been taking more beatings, doing less protesting on the streets, because you have reinforced the idea that all that is required to stop your protest are a few blows to the head.

Let them say that the SSN has told you to declare war if they wish. We are completely unapologetic about that. We have read history. And our history of Swaziland tells us that Swazis have been fighting wars ever since they came together as a nation.

We can only watch this spectacle for so long before reminding you of who you truly are. You are not serfs of imperialist lackeys who go around the world selling your labour to the lowest bidder. If you need to go into comas in order to have your late great grandparents remind you of who you are then so be it.

We believe that our work as an organisation that offers solidarity to Swazis is coming to a close. We have been very generous with the little we have but we cannot provide indefinite assistance to people who have not made up their minds on whether they seek to be free or not.

There are many other countries that require our assistance. The Palestinians at least know who they are and they have even fought against well-armed client states of Imperialism, experiencing great numbers of casualties in the process. They need our assistance and that of a democratic Swaziland.

You, on the other hand, are still toying with a security force that you out number by a ratio of 1 to 15 000. These are people who live next door to you. They do not even carry their weapons home.

If you woke up one day and tied them all up, there would be no security forces to speak of. Did these treacherous mercenaries not abduct you? Then what are you waiting for?

King Mswati must not celebrate his 43rd birthday on Swazi soil. By the time his birthday comes, you should be declaring a Republic. These minions parading as security officers can be dealt with in two days if you are willing to organise yourselves into the machinery that your ancestors used to be.

When you find the time to go to libraries in a new Democratic Republic, take the time to read about Umshadza, the war that your glorious ancestors fought against the mighty Zulu nation, the most feared nation in Southern Africa then.

Swaziland did not have a king during that campaign because the king had died. Dingaan used this as an opportunity to raid the country. Not knowing that Swazis do not need kings to fight, he suffered a major defeat.

The Queen Regent at that time sent him emissaries asking him how he felt after being humiliated by a woman. It is said that Swazi warriors danced after that famous victory. People of Swaziland, the world awaits your dance.

Issued by the Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN]

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