Thursday, May 7, 2009


Opposition is growing against inviting Swaziland King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, to the inauguration of South African President Jacob Zuma this weekend.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has joined the Swaziland Solidarity Network in calling for the invitation to be withheld on the grounds that the king rules an undemocratic kingdom. Political parties are banned in Swaziland and the parliament has no real powers with all important decisions taken by the king.

Statement from SA Communist Party

Mswati knows no democracy!

The SACP has noted the invitation sent out to King Mswati III to attend the inauguration of Cde Jacob Zuma as President of the Republic on the 9th May 2009 and we are aware that he has duly confirmed.

Whilst government has a right to invite heads of state to the inauguration of our President, the SACP wishes to express its strong displeasure at the presence of King Mswati at a ceremony that in many ways is also a celebration of democracy that he has denied his people. By highlighting this matter we wish to strongly signal that it is time now for SADC [Southern African Development Community] and our government to put serious pressure on King Mswati for the democratization of Swaziland.

The Tikundla system based on the banning of political parties and suppression of freedom of association and political activity is one of the most oppressive systems in the contemporary period. Whilst the King will be enjoying the festivities associated with our democratic advances, he has subjected the people of Swaziland to hunger and poverty whilst he and his family enjoy a lavish lifestyle.

Millions of rands are being wasted in Swaziland to finance the Mswati dynasty; which includes throwing expensive birthday parties, procurement of luxury vehicles and financing personal shopping sprees; whilst the majority of the people do not have access to basic services and the HIV/AIDS pandemic is ravaging the country.

Since the 15th November 2008, the President of PUDEMO [the People’s United Democratic Movement], Cde Mario Masuku has been detained and refused visit by human rights groups who wanted to have an audience with him. His cardinal sin is his acceptance of the heavy responsibility to lead the liberation movement of the people of Swaziland. One of our comrades has been detained and badly tortured by the Swazi police after he was involved in a terrible car accident that left two of our fellow compatriots dead. The regime has stepped up its undemocratic practices when they also detained the President and the Secretary General of SWAYOCO [Swaziland Youth Congress].

The man who is at the helm of these human right abuses deserves no seat at our most revered celebration this Saturday. For far too long South Africa, SADC and the AU [African Union] have turned a blind eye to the brutalities and injustices meted out to the Swazi people.

The SACP supports the call made by the Swaziland Solidarity Network that the workers protest by refusing to handle anything that has got to do with the King should he defy logic and attend the inauguration.

Workers of the World Unite!!

Issued by the SACP

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