Friday, October 23, 2009


The following is a memorandum that is circulating from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) about a meeting of South African civil society organisations that took place yesterday (22 October 2009) to take forward work ‘on supporting the struggle for democracy in Swaziland’.

Towards the launch of a Swaziland Democracy Campaign

A number of progressive organisations; including a range of NGOs, faith based organisations, solidarity movements, social movements, political parties, Alliance formations, COSATU and its affiliated unions, PUDEMO activists and individual solidarity activists attended this meeting.

The aims of this meeting were to ensure:

That we are able to retain and sustain the momentum arising from the recent days of action organised by the Joint Swazi Action Committee (JSAC).

That we extend the South African solidarity work to a wider audience of civil society organisations interested in supporting the struggle for democracy and freedom in Swaziland.

That we are able to review and reflect on struggles to support democracy and freedom in Swaziland from South Africa as part of engaging in the development of a further, concrete programme of action that can support struggles inside Swaziland.

That we create space for a broad spectrum of voices to be heard in support of our initiatives in support of democracy in Swaziland.

That we discuss the future of the JSAC and the role of South African civil society in this initiative.

The meeting received the following reports:Holland and UK experiences of international solidarity activities based on the work of the anti-Apartheid movement and the Zimbabwe solidarity movement (Venitia Govender, Solidarity Activist).

A report from what was currently happening inside Swaziland and the challenges comrades are confronted with inside the country (Skhumbuzo Phakathi, PUDEMO Deputy President).

The work of the Joint Swazi Action Committee and the successful campaign actions since the beginning of the initiative on the 12 August 2009 in Benoni (George Mahlangu , COSATU Campaigns Coordinator).

Following these reports we engaged in an exceptionally rich discussion about the meaning and practice of solidarity work in general and specifically in relation to supporting the struggle for democracy in Swaziland.

This discussion was concluded with some very practical inputs from comrades present on possible actions to consolidate and advance our support for Swaziland democracy.

We have agreed to work towards a public launch of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign at the end of November 2009. This will be preceded by a joint Swazi-South Africa meeting to assess the momentum on both sides of the border and to share our respective plans of action towards developing a common programme.

The meeting clearly emphasised that this initiative is purely a campaign and is NOT intended to constitute an organisation.

No comments: