The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) salute the relentless courage and determination of ordinary Swazi people, fighting to the death for the democratic transformation of Eswatini.

On the 04 July 2021, the puppet ministers of King Mswati III organised bogus representatives of the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM) to meet the Troika ― the SADC delegation on politics, defense and security ― in an attempt to give a false account of events from a “grassroots” movement, but the result was a counterfeit version of the people’s demands.

The regime attempted to control the narrative regarding grievances raised by ordinary people. But this proved futile, as courageous critics of the MDM entered the venue, according to the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN). There they introduced themselves to Troika delegates as the true representatives of Eswatini’s MDM.

However, the Troika must equally be blamed for this. In a country where the regime is determined to distort the true reflection of events and cover up the criminal role it has played, by arresting activists and shutting down the internet, could SADC really trust Mswati’s stooges to bring true representatives of the people there. In fact, the Mswati regime is intent not on talking, but instead on jailing or even killing pro- democracy activists.

SAFTU notes the meeting that took place between political parties, organised labour, women’s groups, youth and students, civil society and concerned citizens of Eswatini on the 4th of July. We pledge our support to advance the genuine demands of the masses, as reflected in the subsequent statement they released:

• An all inclusive, and mediated political dialogue led by SADC and underwritten by the African Union, the Commonwealth, the United Nations and/or other such body of similar stature as may be agreed by the parties.

All parties to this political dialogue process should come to the table as

equals, with no one party enjoying superior legal status.

  • The total unbanning of political parties will be a critical prerequisite to

    facilitating a conductive environment as the basis of an all inclusive dialogue process. Towards this end, it is critical that the head of state issue a statement to this effect, denounce violence and intimidation against proponents of multi-party democracy and remove all other impediments of plural politics such as removing the proscription of some entities under the suppression of terrorism act of 2008 as amended (STA).

  • Putting in place a transitional authority to oversee government and reform of institutions, loss and processes leading up to the first multi-party democratic elections. The transitional authority will be drawn from a multi- stakeholder platform representing the broad church that is Eswatini’s society and their primary task will be to level the plainfield.
  • An all inclusive democratic constitution based on the following pillars: o Separation of powers

    o A justiciable Bill of Rights
    o Equality before the law
    o Gender parity and youth participation o Supremacy of the constitution

  • A future governance framework based on a multiparty political dispensation where political parties can contest power in free, fair and credible elections that satisfies international standards and norms. The victorious political parties should form a government with full executive authority.

    SAFTU recognise human rights and freedoms of people as sacrosanct, and therefore pledge, in line with our internationalism and reverence for democratic principles, support to all peoples of the world facing tyrannies, imperialist terrorism and violations of basic human rights.

It is the belief of SAFTU that workers of the world must ultimately unite to rid the world of capitalist exploitation, tyranny and imperialist-induced wars. SADC must, for a change, rise to the occasion and support the people!


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