Friday, May 12, 2023

Swaziland's Mswati regime targets Communist Party leader

In a statement issued today, the Communist Party of Swaziland points out:

In a bid to deepen its rule and, in this year’s context, take forward its undemocratic elections, the Mswati autocracy has resuscitated old traffic charges against the Deputy General Secretary of the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS), Comrade Mxolisi Ngcamphalala. The regime has summoned him to appear in court today for those charges.  

Comrade Mxolisi Ngcamphalala is also the Deputy Secretary General of the teachers’ union, the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT). 

The regime first charged our Deputy General Secretary in 2019, 11 January, as they were walking towards a meeting of their union SNAT. He was charged together with another CPS leader, the late Njabulo “Njefire” Dlamini, who at the time was the CPS International Secretary. 

In 2019, both comrades were leaders of SNAT in their branch in Big Bend, Lubombo Region in the eastern part of Swaziland. 

When they were apprehended by the police, they were on their way to a SNAT meeting which was expected to resolve the question of a nationwide uprising against the oppressive regime. 

The resuscitation of the traffic charge takes place in the context of renewed attacks against the trade union movement. SNAT President, Comrade Mbongwa Dlamini, remains one of the prime targets of the regime for his trade union work. 

Swaziland remains an absolute monarchy, the only such system existing in the African continent. All executive, legislative, and judicial powers still rest with the monarchy since 12 April 2023 when the monarchy unilaterally repealed the 1968 constitution and banned all political parties and assumed absolute powers over the country. 

The people of Swaziland still remain under an imposed curfew since June 2021. People in Swaziland are still not allowed to be outdoors after 8PM on a daily basis. The military continues to physically abuse civilians without any accountability. On the other hand, the 12 April 1973 state of emergency remains in place. 

In the year when the Mswati autocracy is desperate to hold its undemocratic elections, it has sought to attack the CPS and the working-class movement by arresting the movement’s leaders. The main targets in this instance are teachers and transport workers. 

The CPS stands by its Deputy General Secretary, as well as the SNAT President. The regime has attacked the SNAT leadership intending to suppress and crush the union. 

The CPS calls for unity among workers – and the working class at large – for the total overthrow of the tinkhundla autocracy.