PUDEMO STATEMENT – 01 JULY 2015
The Peoples United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) welcomes the release of Human Rights lawyer Thulani Maseko and magazine editor Bheki Makhubu from prison. Even though their families and friends have suffered untold misery, it gives hope that sanity is beginning to prevail even though such had to be achieved through bitter castigation by local political activists, human rights advocates and the international community.
This move which was brought about through immense pressure exerted through the collective effort of campaigns by Swazi activists and the international community; otherwise it would be repression as usual had there be no voices of reason. The release of Maseko and Makhubu will not be welcomed through celebration because the struggle continues, but will be welcomed with a rain of dissent towards isolating Mswati III and his government.
Campaigns will be intensified as the release of the above two is but a drop in the ocean of the violations and atrocities that are perpetrated by tinkhundla regime.
As much as the two walk from the smaller prison to the bigger open air prison which is Swaziland, their children who have been ruthlessly deprived of father figures will breathe a sigh of relief, even if the trauma of having to be brutally parted with their caregivers will last a for the rest of their lives.
We also remind the international community that PUDEMO’s President Mario Masuku is still languishing in jail in the sickly state that he is in. Maxwell Dlamini, SWAYOCO Secretary General still continues to be denied his education while he languishes in jail alongside President Masuku. The internationalist Amos Mbedzi is still serving the 85 years in prison meted by the tinkhundla regime. We still demand the release of Zonke Dlamini who was given fifteen years in prison through non-existent evidence. We also continue to demand the release of all other political prisoners.
Even though the leadership of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates have opened communication lines with Swazi people on the issue of boycotting the Kings Cup which is a tournament that seeks to legitimise a dictator and a murderer, we continue to demand that the two South African soccer giants must not put their name to shame by partaking with a king and a government who does not have any regard for the rule of law, human rights, and democratic governance.
Swaziland continues to be dead weight on an Africa which is straining to transition to democracy because of delinquent capital that continues to promote and encourage corruption and dictatorship. As small as Swaziland is, it would be careless of the international community to let it run renegade in a global atmosphere where the pursuit is civilisation. Left as is Swaziland will be an encouragement to dictators who subscribe to the false notion that Africa is exceptional hence it will remain a desolate desert in regard to good governance.
PUDEMO remains open to rescue tinkhundla regime from its self-imposed political and ideological paralysis through genuine and earnest political dialogue.
Signed by PUDEMO Secretary General
NB. The People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) is a Swazi political movement committed to the creation, protection and promotion of a constitutional multi-party democracy, a transparent and accountable government, an environment conducive to the economic growth and empowerment and the development of a culturally vibrant and tolerant society, based on maximum participation and respect of the will of the people. It is waging a struggle for political freedom in the small kingdom of Swaziland (Africa’s only remaining absolute monarchy). PUDEMO is a banned Liberation Movement in Swaziland and its leader (President Mario Masuku) is in prison alongside other political prisoners while other leaders are in exile for pursuing these political objectives but the movement remains the leading voice of the poor and oppressed people of Swaziland and enjoys popular support from the broader society (trade union, youth movement and students, church, communities and other civil society formations).
Contact person: Brian Ntshangase (National Spokesperson)
Tell: +27 81 091 2364