Swaziland – 17 April 2015

Swaziland: Swazi King Above the Law, Court Told
By Swazi Media Commentary
King Mswati III of Swaziland enters into business contracts which he does not honour and it is impossible to get him to do so because he is above the law in his own kingdom.
That is the picture that is emerging in a court in Ontario, Canada, where the King’s personal luxury jet has been impounded in a business dispute over an alleged unpaid bill of US$3.5 million.
The King’s jet was attached by the court in Canada in January 2015 while it was in Goderich, Ontario, for routine maintenance. It has been held ever since.
Swazi Media Commentary


Swazis Want To Return Home
By Sibusiso Dlamini
MANZINI – A number of South Africa-based Swazis are considering coming back home following the ongoing xenophobic attacks in the neighbouring country.
Some of the interviewed Swazis, who are working in Durban, admitted that they feared for their lives due to the rampant crime and regular violence in the city and surrounding areas.
The violent xenophobic attacks have resulted in five dead and thousands displaced. South Africans first targeted shops owned by foreign nationals, largely from Somalia and Ethiopia. The violent attacks have now been, reportedly perpetuated against all African nationals, leaving many feeling terrified and hopeless.
Times of Swaziland

I Have Not Fled Or Resigned – CJ
By Mbongiseni Ndzimandze
MBABANE – Chief Justice (CJ) Michael Ramodibedi has described the rumours that he has fled the country as nonsense and the people peddling such rumours as liars.
The CJ and his family are currently in South Africa. He left at a time when he was reported to have been summoned by Labadzala.
Rumours, especially within the Judiciary, had been circulating that the CJ, who is also the Chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), had also resigned.
Times of Swaziland


Swazis In S. Africa Living In Fear
By Phephile Motau
MBABANE – Swazis studying and working in Durban, South Africa, are now living in constant fear in the wake of the xenophobic attacks which have left about five people dead and hundreds forced to flee their homes.
SAPeople reported yesterday that it had been a sad day for South Africa as over 2 000 people brought Durban’s Central Business District (CBD) to a standstill following days of xenophobic attacks in the KwaZulu Natal Province. It was reported that the recent flare up of attacks against foreign nationals had been blamed by some on a recent comment made by Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, saying ‘foreigners must go’. He claimed his comment was distorted.
Times of Swaziland


Increase Trade Between Lesotho, Botswana – King
By Sibusiso Zwane
LOZITHA – His Majesty King Mswati III wants trade between the country, the Kingdom of Lesotho and Botswana to be increased.
The King said this when he accepted letters of credence from the Kingdom of Lesotho High Commissioner to Swaziland, Eveline Malejaka Letooane and Botswana High Commissioner to Swaziland Zanene Sinombe, at Lozitha Palace, yesterday.
He said since the three countries were members of a number of international organisations, like the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and SACU, among others, they should promote trade among themselves in order to improve their economies.
Times of Swaziland


Rural women want divorce in customary marriages
By Winile Masinga
…people in a failed marriage always came back for the benefits once the other party was dead if there is an estate to benefit from
The Swaziland Rural Women’s Assembly (SRWA) has called for a provision for divorce in customary law marriages. Members of the organisation feel that women are always pressed to stay in marriages that don’t work out even if they want to quit.
Swazi Observer

SD secures E10.6m COMESA funding for trade programme
By Yvette Dlamini
SWAZILAND as a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has secured funding totalling E10.6 million so as to fund trade related capacity building programmes.
This money is from under the COMESA Fund.
This is contained in the ministry of commerce, industry and trade annual performance report financial year 2014/15 tabled by Minister Gideon Dlamini in parliament.
Swazi Observer

Govt wants federations registered before May 1
By Eddie Abner
AS government has prioritised the registration of three federations, they are now working around the clock to ensure that they are registered before May 1.
May 1 is workers’ day, which is celebrated internationally.
Ministry of Labour and Social Security Acting Labour Commissioner Sipho Tsabedze said they were working around the clock to ensure that all federations were registered in time.
Tsabedze said although they do not have a time frame on when the registration process would be over, but they were hoping next week, they would be done.
Swazi Observer

Truth Is Number One Enemy Of This Country
By Vusi Sibisi
Perhaps to the chagrin of his political principals, Police Commissioner Isaac Magagula displayed a rare leadership quality within the firmament of Swazi polity by publicly apologising for the brutality visited on Muzi Mhlanga, the Secretary General of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers, by his charges although this may not necessarily rescue the Kingdom of eSwatini from further international censure for this act.
Times of Swaziland

Inside Labour: The dangerous silence about Swaziland
By Terry Bell
THE International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), campaigning groups and labour-supporting members of the European parliament, this month launched protests about the continued harassment and jailing of trade unionists and democracy campaigners in Swaziland.
ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow has noted that in Swaziland “violations against the fundamental rights of workers have become systemic”.

TUCOSWA re-submitts application papers
By Alec Lushaba
Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) yesterday re-submitted its application for registration with the Labour Commissioner.
TUCOSWA Secretary General Vincent Ncongwane told the Observer on Saturday that after they were required to furnish certain information by the close of last month, they satisfied the labour commissioner’s office requirements and re-submitted their registration application papers.
“I have just been to the ministry of labour and social security to re-submit our application after we did so last year, following the passing of the Industrial Relations Act, as amended.
Swazi Observer

Married to a jailed activist – one woman’s fight for justice in Swaziland
By Tanele Maseko
A little over a year ago, human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko was jailed for two years after questioning the fairness of Swaziland’s judicial system. As his wife Tanele fights to clear his name, she describes what it’s like to be married to a jailed activist.
At times I can’t even sleep, to think of my husband sleeping on the floor, with no pyjamas, cold, hungry and frustrated. It calls for one to be strong. At times you try but sometimes it gets to you. The fact that you can’t cook for him, you can’t talk to him as and when you want. It’s difficult and frustrating, but it’s the price you have to pay for freedom.
Amnesty International

Asylum Seekers To Be Deported
By Swazi Media Commentary
Somali asylum seekers living in Swaziland who complained that they were being starved and forced to work in fields without pay are to be deported from the kingdom.
Swazi Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Chief Mgwagwa Gamedze had said in March 2015, the refugees were lucky not to be deported.
Seven refugees reportedly left the Malindza reception centre they were housed in and set up camp close to one of King Mswati’s 13 palaces at Ludzidzini.
Swazi Media Commentary

Cash from Denmark to Mario and Maxwell
Afrika Kontakt, Denmark, has transferred ZAR40.000 in support of Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini. The two are charged under Swaziland’s notorious anti-terrorism laws after allegedly having yelled “VIVA PUDEMO” on Mayday 2014. The People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) is Swaziland largest political party, but is forced to work illegally, as all political parties in the country are prohibited.

The support will be used for payment for Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini’s lawyers, for Mario Masuku’s medication, and for maintenance of the two detainees’ families.

Afrika Kontakt has supported the democracy movement in Swaziland for over 15 years.

Together with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung – Southern Africa; The Red Green Alliance – Denmark; Action for Southern Africa – United Kingdom: and Swaziland United Democratic Front, Afrika Kontakt has launched a global protest for the release of Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini. The action has received support from more than 500 organizations worldwide. Most recently, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, who is upcoming Chairman of the UN General Assembly, and a former Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, have expressed support for Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini.
Make you support for Mario and Maxwell at: www.afrika.dk/indhold/free-mario-masuku-and-maxwell-dlamini
Afrika Kontakt will continue to work for more organizations to support the demand for the release of Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini.