Saturday, July 30, 2011


The Council of Swaziland Churches has filed in an urgent application at the High Court to stop Swazi police closing down the three-day democracy convention being held in the kingdom this weekend.

The police successfully halted a previous meeting called by the organisers in March this year.

The Council wants the High Court to instruct the police it must allow the convention, which started yesterday (29 July 2011), to go ahead unmolested.

Specifically, the Council wants the court to issue an order ‘restraining the police from interrupting and interfering with the free movement of delegates and other invited guests and individuals for the purposes of participating in the meeting.’

The Council cites Section 26 of the Swaziland Constitution on freedom of movement in its action.

The convention is to allow civil society groups to discuss how Swaziland, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, can be transformed into a democracy.

The Council and the South African-based NGO Phadimisa Bokamoso BaAfrica are engaged in a process they are calling Talks About Talks.

On 18 March, 2011, during the consultation process with civil society, the Swaziland Police stormed the meeting and demanded to know the agenda.

Police insisted that the meeting was being held unlawfully as no permission had been sought from the Commissioner of Police and the meeting had to be called off.

Khangeziwe Dlamini, General Secretary of the Council, said the Swaziland police have already said it wanted to stop and prevent this weekend’s meeting from proceeding as they did with the previous one.

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