Swazi political prisoners in good spirits

The two detained Swazi activists and political prisoners, the President of the Swaziland National Union of Students, Maxwell Dlamini, and member political movement SWAYOCO, Musa Ngubeni, are in good spirits, says Sikelela Dlamini of the Swaziland United Democratic Front. “I visited Maxwell and Musa yesterday”, Sikelela Dlamini told me. “They remain in good health, resolute in defiance and firm in the belief that they and their fellow citizens will be free soon. They send their regards to all international solidarity friends who keep them and Swaziland in their minds as we struggle to re-claim our human dignity.” Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Ngubeni were pre-emptively detained and allegedly tortured by Swazi police before the April 12 uprising in Swaziland, where the Swazi regime violently clamped down on demonstrators and detained the entire leadership of the Swazi democratic movement.

They have been denied bail on several occasions, Maxwell has been denied the right to sit his exams at the university of Swaziland where he is a student, and the Swazi authorities have done their utmost to obstruct their lawyer, Mandla Mkhwanazi. The charges against Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Mgubeni of being in possession of explosives, and thus contravening Sections 8 and 9 of Swaziland’s Explosives Act 4 of 1961, have been described as preposterous by several members of the democratic movement in Swaziland, as well as by unions and solidarity organisations around the world, and Amnesty International has urged Swaziland to ensure their safety. According to Vincent Ncongwane, Secretary General of the Swaziland Federation of Labour, the charges are an attempt to “cover up for the heavy-handedness the police applied against innocent citizens” during the April uprising.

 

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