Connect to share and comment

Swaziland opposition leaders, activists detained

Swaziland police detained the leaders of banned political parties and several activists Wednesday at the trial of journalists charged with publishing articles critical of King Mswati III's government, an AFP correspondent and a spokesman said. Officers detained Mario Masuku, president of the People's United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), as he was leaving the courtroom, according to an AFP correspondent. "A group of our comrades are currently detained in police custody. No charge has been laid as yet," PUDEMO spokesman Themba Mabuza told AFP.

Swaziland's judiciary sliding deeper into crisis

Swaziland activists warned Friday that the country's judiciary is sliding into deeper crisis after the chief justice ordered the re-arrest this week of an editor and his columnist. Bheki Makhubu, editor of The Nation, and his columnist colleague Thulani Maseko - were Sunday released from 19-day detention after a High Court judge overturned their arrest over an article that criticised the earlier arrest of a government worker. But a day later Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi said he did not recognise the High Court decision and had them taken back into custody.

Swaziland bans MPs from divorce to spare king's blushes

Swaziland's Senate chief said Friday lawmakers should not divorce, in a bid to spare the country's polygamous king from embarrassment. Gelane Zwane, leader of the upper house in Africa's last absolute monarchy, said lawmakers should set a good example to young people in the deeply conservative country and warned them against the temptations of the flesh. She also urged women lawmakers against allowing their position to make them "disrespectful" to their husbands -- while telling men to keep their eyes off female colleagues' cleavages.

Pro-democracy activist wins Swaziland parliament seat

A pro-democracy activist who won a seat in Swaziland's parliament in elections criticised by regional observers vowed on Monday to fight for reform in Africa's last absolute monarchy. The tiny mountain kingdom elected 55 lawmakers Friday in a system that an African Union mission faulted for barring political parties. According to official results, 46 of the 55 lawmakers were new to parliament.

A factfile on Swaziland

The tiny mountain kingdom of Swaziland, which votes for a new parliament Friday, is Africa's last absolute monarchy and one of the poorest nations on the continent. GEOGRAPHY: Swaziland is a landlocked country in the eastern flank of South Africa, where it also shares a border with Mozambique. It spans 17,363 square kilometres (6,704 square miles). POPULATION: 1.23 million inhabitants (2012, World Bank), of whom 78 percent live in rural areas. CAPITAL: Mbabane. Manzini is the economic capital.

Swazi police arrest politician, break up meeting: union group

Swaziland police arrested an opposition leader in a crackdown denied by authorities and broke up an international trade unionist meeting on Friday, said South Africa's main labour union grouping. Workers' federation Cosatu said Mario Masuku, the leader of Swaziland opposition party Pudemo, was detained on Friday en route to a protest against King Mswati III's government just two weeks before elections in the absolute monarchy.

Swazi police arrest politician, break up meeting

Swaziland police arrested an opposition leader and deported foreign trade unionists in a crackdown denied by authorities, South Africa's main union said Friday, just two weeks before elections in the absolute monarchy. South African workers' federation Cosatu said Mario Masuku, the leader of Swaziland opposition party Pudemo, was detained Thursday en route to a protest against King Mswati III's government. "The Pudemo president was arrested on his way to the border blockade near Oshoek," in northeast Swaziland, the union's international secretary Bongani Masuku told AFP.

Swazi chief bans miniskirts and trousers for women

A Swaziland chief banned women from wearing miniskirts and trousers at a two-day nomination process that got under way Saturday to select candidates for upcoming elections. "I told the residents recently, that tomorrow they should dress properly, decently in line with our culture to show respect," Prince Mashila of Maphalaleni, a chiefdom about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Mbabane. "That's all I asked for - just respect for the chief's residence," he told AFP. Another chief has also banned short skirts at his homestead in the tiny kingdom.

King dissolves Swazi parliament ahead of vote

Africa's last absolute monarch, Swaziland's King Mswati III, on Friday dissolved parliament in the run-up to new legislative polls in September which critics have branded a sham. "Today parliament is dissolved to allow the nation tomorrow to nominate candidates who will contest elections where eventual winners will be legislators," Mswati told subjects gathered at his royal palace in Ludzidzini, north of the capital Mbabane. Around 600,000 of the tiny mountain kingdom's 1.1 million people are expected to vote in the polls on September 20.

Swazi activists accuse S.Africa of police collusion

A banned Swazi political party on Thursday accused South Africa's diplomatic mission of handing the names of activists over to the absolute monarchy's security services. The Communist Party of Swaziland said members attending a meeting with the South African high commissioner in Mbabane, found police waiting for them, armed with a typed list of their names. Kenneth Kunene, the party's general secretary, told AFP the list was passed on by "someone from the commission".
Syndicate content