SALO Public Dialogue: Building Regional Civil Society Solidarity on Swaziland – 14 April 2021

The Southern African Liaison Office (SALO), hosted a public multi-stakeholder dialogue on Building Regional Civil Society Solidarity in eSwatini. The dialogue brought together speakers from civil society, the student movement, trade unions and churches amongst other groupings from eSwatini and the region. The discussion looked at possible ways in which South Africa and the region can provide solidarity and support to civil society in eSwatini.

This comes after King Mswati pulled eSwatini off the agenda of the SADC Security Troika meeting that was supposed to take place on 4 April but was subsequently postponed. This last-minute move by the king was interpreted by many as the king’s determination to hold a national dialogue on his own terms, despite the agreement he made with President Cyril Ramaphosa in November 2021 that he would accept the involvement of SADC in setting the political terms for the dialogue.

Speakers included: Venetia Govender (Solidarity Activist)Mary Pais da Silva (Multi Stakeholders Forum & Women Human Rights Defenders)Maxwell Dlamini (Secretary-General, SWAYOCO)Mavis Koogotsitse (Executive Secretary, Southern Africa Trade Union Coordinating Council (SATUCC))Janet Zhou (Southern African People’s Solidarity Network (SAPSN))