Saturday, July 7, 2018


The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) which represents 207 million workers worldwide has protested to the Swaziland / Eswatini Government after police attacked peaceful demonstrators in the kingdom’s capital Mbabane.

Four people were seriously injured, with two left critical, after police fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon.

ITUC in a letter to Swaziland Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini said, ‘We strongly denounce the excessive brutality used to break up the peaceful demonstration.’ It said such violence violated international conventions that the Swazi Government had signed.

The demonstration organised by the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland on 29 June 2018 was over accusations that millions of dollars have been removed from the national pension fund by the government of King Mswati III, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. They were also calling for the introduction of a minimum wage and amendments to employment law.

Police in Swaziland routinely attack peaceful protesters. In February 2018 police did not deny a media report they fired live ammunition during a protest by students of Swaziland Christian University about delays in receiving allowances and problems over graduation.

In February 2017 police fired warning gunshots at civilians when kombi drivers and conductors brought traffic to a standstill at Mvutshini by blocking the highway and stopping public transport. They were protesting about an alleged corrupt traffic police officer.

Also in February 2017 police fired warning gunshots as University of Swaziland students marched with a petition to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to protest about late payment of their allowances. 

Again in  February 2017 they fired live gunshots and teargas at workers at Juris Manufacturing in Nhlangano when workers were locked out in a dispute over allegations that management planned to purge the staff of ‘troublesome elements’. 

In October 2016 police fired gunshots at protesting students at the Limkokwing university in Mbabane.  At least four students received ‘serious injuries’ during disturbances, according to the Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper.

In August 2016 riot police fired shots over the heads of striking workers outside the Plantation Forestry Company who were protesting for an increase in pay of the equivalent of 35 US cents per hour.

In October 2015 police fired shots and teargas at protesting textile workers at the Zheng Yong Garment factory in Nhlangano. They were protesting against the behaviour of security guards.

An injured protester at the march in Mbabane


See also



No comments: