Swaziland – 3 June 2015

Unions Call to End Swazi Repression
An international delegation of union leaders traveling in Swaziland is calling on the government to guarantee the rights of workers to freely form unions and exercise freedom of speech and assembly, and says repressive legislation used by police against union activities still has not been addressed by Parliament, even as the government continues to imprison human rights activists for exercising their right to freedom of speech, writes Tula Connell at Solidarity Center.
Led by Wellington Chibebe, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) deputy general secretary, the fact-finding group is looking into the ongoing government repression directed at Swazi union leaders and human rights proponents, and plans to issue a report to the ITUC and to several members of the European Parliament by the end of May.


King Costs 3,000 Workers Their Jobs
The refusal by King Mswati III, the absolute monarch in Swaziland, to accept democratic change in his kingdom has cost at least 3,000of his subjects their jobs.
This is because the United States withdrew Swaziland’s trading privileges under the Africa Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA).
Swaziland had previously been able to export to the United States without having to pay tariffs. This privilege ended on 1 January 2015.

Free Political Prisoners – Euro MPs
The European Parliament has voted for the release of all political prisoners in Swaziland.
It also called for the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III as an absolute monarch, to be monitored for its human rights record.
Members of the European Parliament (MEP) meeting in plenary session on Thursday (21 May 2015) called for the immediate release of Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu from jail in Swaziland. Maseko, a human-rights lawyer, and Makhubu, editor of the Nation magazine were jailed for two years after writing and publishing articles critical of the Swazi judiciary.

Registrar of the High Court Fikile Nhlabatsi is alleged to have allocated the matter to Principal Judge Stanley Maphalala after consulting with Judge Bheki Maphalala, who has since been appointed acting Chief Justice after the suspension of Ramodibedi. Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) investigator Sipho Mthethwa alleged, in the answering papers of the ACC to the application by Ramodibedi to revoke the warrant of arrest against him, that the suspended CJ angrily demanded the court file and that the matter should be moved before him.
Ramodibedi alleged, in his application, that the warrant of arrest had been unlawfully issued against him and had to be nullified. These are allegations contained in an affidavit whose veracity is still to be tested in court.
Times of Swaziland