Police and security forces set up roadblocks across Swaziland (eSwatini) to stop people joining prodemocracy protests at the kingdom’s border with South Africa.
Solders were deployed at the border gate at Matsamo after a proposed blockade had been announced. Cars were searched at Lozitha, Mankayane, Luyengo, Mahlanya and Mvutshini.
On the South African side, the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) organised a demonstration. Police fired shots in the air and used teargas to push back the crowd of protestors.
The actions on Thursday (9 September 2021) were part of a Global Week of Action in support of democratic reform. Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III as an absolute monarch. Political parties are barred from taking part in elections and group advocating democracy are banned under the Suppression of Terrorism Act. No members of the kingdom’s Senate chamber are elected by the people.
Plan to blockade Swaziland border as campaign for democracy intensifies