eSwatini protesters no longer trust SADC

eSwatini protesters no longer trust SADC
PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTS: Africa's remaining absolute monarchy under threat as eSwatini citizens take to the streets to demand a change in government. PICTURE BY

A SADC envoy is currently in eSwatini to mediate following protests.

The eSwatini Communist Party says they have little trust in the SADC mediation team currently in that country.

Communist spokesperson Pius Vilakati said for close to 50 years now, they have been trying to alert bodies such as SADC and the African Union on the suppression of the people of eSwatini but they seem to have turned a blind eye to the situation. 

“The people of Swaziland cannot defeat such a tyrant which receives international support from various imperialistic and business forces – such as MTN who gave him shares and now have shut down the internet while he massacres the people,” Vilakati said in an interview with SABC News. 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in his capacity as chairman of SADC’s Organ on Defence, Politics and Security Cooperation has appointed a special envoy to engage with King Mswati III on security and political developments in that country. 

The SADC envoy said their sole mission is to ensure a lasting solution to the impasse between the government and the citizens. 

“I’m going there with an open mind,” former SA minister, Jeff Radebe, who is part of the SADC envoy, said.  

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“Ensuring that we hear all views so that at the end of the day the people of eSwatini must be able to come around the table and come up with a lasting solution so that there must be peace because whatever happens in eSwatini has a negative impact not only to South Africa but to the whole Southern Africa region,” Radebe said.

However, Vilakati said nobody trusts the Southern African body anymore unless they come down and speak to ordinary citizens.

“The two visits that SADC made to Swaziland proved to everyone in Swaziland and outside that, they are only going there to side with the regime. The first statement they released was a condemnation of the people for rising against the tyrant,” said Vilakati. 

Radebe said they are very disturbed by the ongoing political tensions in the kingdom.

“You can see that the political temperature is very hot, our responsibility is to ensure that the temperature must be cooled so that we speak soberly to what is confronting the people of eSwatini because SADC is very much concerned about the developments that are unfolding in the beautiful country,” he said. 

(edited by MGB)

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