2 September 2011
Statement of the Communist Party of Swaziland on the eve of the 5-11 September freedom protests
The Communist Party of Swaziland greets the workers, poor and oppressed of our country on the eve of the week of protests beginning 5 September against the Mswati regime and for democracy and freedom.
The protests are now taking place in a new phase of struggle by our people. The tinkhundla government and the absolute monarchy (the monarchic autocracy) are in demise and are unlikely to survive for long. The fiscal crisis the regime faces will hardly be alleviated by the conditional, piecemeal loan guarantee the regime has received from South Africa.
The crisis of the regime is systemic – it is inbuilt into its very existence, and no amount of assistance or aid will help it survive. The crisis of the regime is at the same time one of credibility and legitimacy – both of which it lacks in abundance.
The crisis of the regime is also directly related to the poverty, disease and depravation that Mswati, the royal family, the government elite and all those who act for the regime impose on the majority of our people. Through the oppression of the people, the regime has dug its own grave.
The people of Swaziland are more resolute in their determination to rid our country of this ruling class in all its forms, traditional or otherwise. The protests of the past year have increased the resolve of our labour movement and pro-democracy fighters to risk more and endure more to ensure the Mswati regime is eradicated.
The regime, meanwhile, continues on its course of self-delusion and corrupt trickery. It is clear that it has no intention of implementing the ‘democracy conditions’ attached to the three-stage bailout from South Africa. These conditions, if fully realised, would topple the regime, because, when anyone examines them thoughtfully, it is clear that they stand at complete odds with regime’s existence. Apparently, Mswati thinks he can circumvent the conditions by simply doing nothing. In his blinkered, upside-down universe he even thinks he should receive a commission for brokering the loan!
The loan conditions concerning democracy are not intrinsically powerful – they do not, for example, require the unbanning of parties and organisations or the safe return of exiles. But they do potentially cover a lot of ground. Importantly, they provide ammunition for us to further beat the regime into a corner. Recognition of this is crucial to our exploiting the tactical openings of the present situation, otherwise we will fall to a shrill, knee-jerk dogmatic response.
We call on all progressive forces in Swaziland, and their supporters abroad, to lobby, petition and put all forms of pressure on the Joint Bilateral Commission for Cooperation (JBCC), which under the loan conditions now exists to oversee the package of measures on democracy that the Mswati regime has been forced to accept.
We are under no illusion that these measures will not result in the regime changing its spots and transforming itself into a paradigm of liberal altruism. But they constitute another front whereby pressure can be put on the regime to implode.
That is our objective: to put an end to the regime in all its manifestations once and for all.
To ensure that the people are able to follow through on this we call in particular for the unity of all left forces to develop the progressive platforms that are needed to bring about lasting political, economic and social change in our country.
We believe that this unity is needed to accelerate the dismantling of the regime and the institution of a transitional platform for an interim government to allow for free and fair elections and to create the necessary emergency strategies to tackle the crises affecting our people.
We feel that a particular call for left unity is necessary in the face of attempts by narrow, middle-class interest groups that present themselves as the whole of civil society. These pretend to speak for the Swazi majority and they consider the Mswati regime as an equal partner in a ‘dialogue’ (‘talks about talks’) for democracy and freedom.
It has been shown time and again in our struggle that only the left progressive forces in our country have the strategic and tactical vision needed to envisage a future of true and direct democracy for Swaziland, one in which the elites and the class divisions imposed on society are demolished. No amount of talks about talks with the regime will result in the social and political progress our country so desperately needs.
The CPS also greatly appreciates all international solidarity with the struggle of the Swazi people, and underlines the necessity of viewing our struggle as part of a far wider global effort for peace, freedom and progress.
The stakes are high. The people of Swaziland have suffered enough. The CPS stands shoulder to shoulder with our people and will work flat out to make the September protests a success. We will also include in the protests the demands of the Break the Chains campaign for the release of all political prisoners and detainees, the unbanning of political parties and the safe return of exiles.
AMANDLA – AWETHU!
GLOBAL ACTION WEEK READY TO START