Leaders and dignitaries from all over the world took part in a memorial for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday in Johannesburg. And all over the world, local memorial services are being held to enable ordinary people to mourn the passing of, and celebrate the life of, Mandela.
All over the world, but not in South Africa’s neighbouring country, the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland, where police today broke up a memorial prayer service at the Lutheran Church in Manzini organised by the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF), “by brute force.” South African High Commissioner to Swaziland, Happy Mahlangu, should have participated in the memorial, but was ask to leave the premises and “go back.”
When riot police armed with guns and tear gas arrived, the crowd started singing “Nkosi Sikelela Africa”, according to one activist.
In a statement from Wandile Dludlu from the SUDF, he said there is a clear connection between Mandela’s fight for democracy and justice and that of the democratic movement in Swaziland. “We love you Mandela and pledge to honour you by hastening our victory for democracy in Swaziland.”
By Peter Kenworthy, Africa Contact
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