Wednesday, September 18, 2013


In a new clampdown on free speech ahead of the elections in Swaziland on Friday, news has emerged that a sugar cane farmer has been charged with sedition for allegedly making unfavourable comments about King Mswati III.

Allen Nkululeko Mango, aged 48, of Manzini, is alleged to have made comments against the king near the offices of Vuvulane Town Board.

Local media report that the comments were made at a meeting where Mango and other farmers met senior government officials.

He has been charged under the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act No. 46 of 1938.

The Times of Swaziland, the only independent daily newspaper in the kingdom, where King Mswati ruLes as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, reported the charges that Mango, ‘wrongfully and unlawfully made comments which brought hatred or contempt against the King of Swaziland, King Mswati III so that he can be hated by his subjects at Vuvulane.’ 

The comments are alleged to have been made on 5 February 2013, but Mango was only arrested on Friday 13 September. He has applied for bail but the Director of Public Prosecutions is opposing him.

There has been a clampdown against free speech in Swaziland ahead of the national election this Friday (20 September 2013).

Musa Dube, the deputy general secretary of the Communist party of Swaziland, was charged last week with sedition for allegedly distributing leaflets calling for a boycott of the election. 

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