Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Trade union protests will go ahead in Swaziland despite a court ban, activists said.

The Swaziland Government got a late-night court order yesterday (10 April 2012) banning unions from striking and marching. Protests were due to start today and last at least three days.

‘Nothing has changed, we are going ahead with tomorrow’s (Thursday's) protests,’ Vincent Dlamini, secretary general of the National Public Service and Allied Workers Union told the AFP news agency.

‘Of course we anticipate that the police will use their underhand tactics, but we won't back down.’

Protests are to mark the anniversary in 1973 when the Swaziland constitution was overturned by King Sobhuza, who then ruled by decree.

His son, the present King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, continues to rule with an iron fist. All political parties and opposition groups are banned and the king handpicks the government.

Reports from Mbabane, the Swazi capital, earlier today said armed troops and police were on the streets. Road blocks have been set up between the two main cities of Mbabane and Manzini.

Two South African TV journalists, in Swaziland to cover the protests, were detained by Swazi police earlier today.

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