4 September 2011
Court bid to stop Swazi protests
The Swaziland government has sought a court injunction to block a week of planned pro-democracy protests in a country were political parties are banned.
Unions said the demonstrations would go ahead across the country as part of a "Global Week of Action for Swaziland," stepping up pressure for democratic reform on King Mswati III.
Trade Unions, the only organisations legally allowed to hold demonstrations, said the government had launched a last minute injunction at the Industrial Court on Saturday.
The court ruled that the unions had to remove certain grievances from their list of demands, including a call to scrap generous perks for politicians, but the unions said they would go ahead with the protests.
The head of Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions, Barnes Dlamini, said: ""This time around we are not stopping.
"Once we hit the streets nobody is going to stop us from saying what we want to say."
The protests come as South Africa is poised to sign a controversial $343m bailout to help ease a crippling financial crisis in the kingdom.
Political parties have been banned in Swaziland since 1973 and Mswati holds ultimate executive, legislative and judicial power.
The demonstrations are being organised by a coalition of pro-democracy movements known as the Swaziland Democracy Campaign.