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Updated: 29.08.2008 7:42

Die Polizei hätte da ein paar Fragen an den Generalsekretär...

Im Schatten der Auseinandersetzungen in Zimbabwe steht der Widerstand gegen die reaktionäre Monarchie in Swaziland. Beim jüngsten Treffen der Regierungen des südlichen Afrikas in Johannesburg gab es aber Demonstrationen sowohl gegen die Regierung in Zimbabwe, als auch gegen jene im Swaziland - der Bericht "Swazi police harassment and detention, following Johannesburg march" den Jan Sithole, Generalsekretär der Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions am 21. August 2008 als Pressemitteilung veröffentlichte, wird einiges deutlich über die politische Situation im Lande - wenn ein Gewerkschaftsfunktionär "Besuch" von der Polizei bekommt, beispielsweise.

Swazi police harassment and detention, following Johannesburg march

Jan J. Sithole, General Secretary, Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions,

21 August 2008

On the 21st of August 2008, 10 Police officers came to my place of residence at 0700 hrs, 3 of them were senior Regional Crime investigators and their leader was one Joseph Bhembe and the other 2 were both carried Dlamini surname and cannot recall their first names. Bhembe said they want to engage with me on matters of state security emanating from our March on August 16th 2008 in Sandton at the SADC Heads of State Summit.

They asked if I could come with them or follow them to Luve Police Station just outside Manzini, since that station had good conference facilities, and is very quiet, I refused and said I will come to my office first, to deal with my days appointments which were going to be affected by their invitation and immediately after that I would come by myself to their Regional Police Head quarters in Manzini at 0900hrs.

The questions that were asked around were the following: · Inquired on Organizers of the March · Inquired on the capacity in which I went to this march · Inquired on purpose of the March · Inquired on Solidarity partners to the March · Inquired on the Petition and its contents · Inquired on our position towards the petition · Inquired on contents of the petition · Inquired on placards · Wanted to know the meaning of slogan that says “The Struggle continues” And my responses were as follows; · The organizer is SATUCC, her affiliates and SADC Civil Society including those from Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa. · I went there on the mandate of SFTU and on my capacity as the Secretary General of SFTU.

I told them that the purpose of the march was SADC Civil Society Solidarity march on concerns of Swaziland and Zimbabwe bordering on · Demand for democratic changes, o Respect for fundamental human rights o Respect for the rule of law o Respect for Social & Economic Justice Though a petition at the SADC Heads of States Summit as both countries are members of SADC and signatory to the electoral protocol which both countries have violated. · I mentioned that our Solidarity partners are the entire regional Civil Society from SADC drawn from all walks of life. · They asked what role COSATU was playing at SATUCC, I informed them that COSATU is a member of SATUCC the same way that all organized Labour federations are members; · In the petition they were interested if we knew it and are party to it which was agreed. ·

They wanted to know if we support the petition and its concerns with regards to the illegitimacy of the constitution making process, in Swaziland. I agreed, stating that the process was exclusionary through decrees No.2 of 1996, formerly excluding the right to submit of organized formations as such cannot claim ownership by the entire population of Swaziland particularly the organized formations.

I also brought to their attention that the issue regional and enjoyed regional support from SADC Civil Society and organized Labour and was duly received by SADC Executive Secretary as the appropriate forum which Swaziland joined voluntarily and currently chairing the Troika organ.

On the issue of “The Struggle continues,” I told them that it means we will continue demanding and putting pressure on government for democratic changes respect for human rights respect for the rule of law and social and economic justice without relenting until those concerns are positively addressed.

They asked what we believed would be the immediate solution to this long drawn struggle and my response was “Genuine, Result oriented all inclusive social dialogue, not the fake dialogues that do not have mandate as the recent past one. I also raised that it should be noted that we have continued to be constant in our demands on the constitution, fiscal indiscipline, rule of law social and economic justice and good governance both inside and outside the country for time in memoria. The meeting lasted for an hour and a half.

Issued by Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions

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