Monday, 10 December 2012


In practising what it advocates, on 1st December 2012, the Swaziland Diaspora Platform held it’s second annual general meeting in Johannesburg.  The principles of transparency and accountability were in full effect as the outgoing Executive Management Team gave report backs on how the organisation performed against its mandate, how monies were spent and how the organisation itself was managed internally.

As with all new organizations there were plenty areas that were identified for improvement, however the towering successes of the organisation in its short existence give hope to the growth and impact of the organisation in the coming years.

In keeping with it’s record of good governance, the AGM spent considerable amounts of time examining the relevance of it’s Constitution and strategic goals, which determine the implementation plan for the next year.  Some of the key changes to Constitution and strategic direction of the SDP are it’s new vision and mission, which now read:

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform shall “Create a space for constructive and coordinated action for Swazis in the Diaspora to engage, reflect and reach out towards contributing to alternative sustainable development models in Swaziland.”

This shall be done “Through promoting a culture of human rights, people-centred-development and respect for the environment.”

To take the organisation forward for the next year, the SDP elected a new Executive Management Team as follows:

Chairperson:                              Mr. Thembinkosi Dlamini
Deputy Chairperson:                Mr. Nhlanhla Msibi
Secretary General:                   Ms Ntombenhle Khathwane
Deputy Secretary General:     Mr. Brian Ntshangase
Treasurer:                                  Mr. Simphiwe Ntenteza
Additional Members:                Ms. Nqobile Mkhatshwa
                                                    Mr. Samkeliso Ndwandwe

The Annual Report of the Swaziland Diaspora Platform 2011/2012 will be published and available electronically shortly


Swaziland Diaspora Platform
Contact: Ms N Khathwane
                072 1899 361

Thursday, 20 September 2012


Media freedom in Swaziland has been dealt a severe blow as the Times of Swaziland, the country’s only independent newspaper, has transformed itself to being a mouth piece and spy tool for the Monarch.
In what is the most shocking media scandal in recent time, the Times of Swaziland has sacrificed its integrity and credibility at the alter of Royal appeasement by selling out one of its journalist Ntokozo Magongo to the police for critisizing the Royal establishment during a private conversation with a colleague at the Times of Swaziland.
The Times of Swaziland, that has spawned respected and legendary journalists such as Mashumi Thwala, James Dlamini, Phiwokwakhe Ngidi, Vusi Ginindza, Bheki Makhubu to name a few, has degenerated to becoming a playground of royal moles and snitches to the detriment of ethical journalism.
The SDP has been reliably informed that well known royal lackey and self proclaimed Times of Swaziland Royal Correspondent, Senzo Dlamini - the same journalist who whilst employed by the Times of Swaziland defied all journalistic codes of conduct, campaigned and participated in the 2008 Tinkhundla elections only to lose and come back to join the Times of Swaziland as a journalist - called the Royal police to arrest sports journalist Ntokozo Magongo after the latter made comments critical of the current political establishment in a private conversation at the newspaper's kitchen.
The police arrived at the offices of the Times of Swaziland offices armed to the teeth and took Magongo for interrogation for making unsavoury comments about the Monarch. His matter has now been taken to his parents and community.
The SDP is shocked that the Times of Swaziland collaborated with Senzo Dlamini by permitting the arrest of a hard-working and ethical journalist for comments made during a private discussion; whilst no retribution (at least publicly) is being meted out at Mr. Dlamini for leaking private and inconsequential information, which brings the image and reputation of the Times of Swaziland into disrepute.  
The Times has in the recent past made questionable decisions that indicate the continued degeneration of journalistic ethical standards one of which was permitting Qalakaliboli Dlamini to continue as a columnist even though he wrote an outright homophobic column and should have been discontinued as a columnist not merely suspended.

To exacerbate matters, The Times is losing credible journalists at an alarming rate.   It should concern the owner of this legendary institution, Mr. Loffler, why the Times is now left with a bunch of unethical journalists like Senzo Dlamini and  Maqhawe Nxumalo as News Editor. Mr Nxumalo  too has long proclaimed that he is anti-democratisation and pro-Monarch, meaning he is not capable of being objective in his delivery of news that is important in the building of an informed, vibrant and empowered citizenry in Swaziland.  Mr. Nxumalo’s articles pronouncing his position on democracy, Tinkhundla and the monarchy date back to the time when he was a columnist for the Times SUNDAY during Vusi Ginindza's time as editor, and his views have not changed, which means he is not objective and will always publish stories to promote the Tinkhundla system and demonize the pro-democracy movement. This today is the state of the media in Swaziland, where all genuinely independent journalists have left the profession and only royalists posing as journalists occupy positions of power in the media hierarchy. 
The SDP therefore calls upon the Times of Swaziland to explain publicly why they sold out their own employee, Ntokozo Magongo as well explain what they are going to do about Senzo Dlamini for creating an environment of fear in the newsroom as journalists will now fear critisizing the royal family and writing articles critical of the royal establishment.

The newspaper's newly appointed Managing Editor, Mr. Martin Dlamini, must do this to prove that he won't use the newspaper to prove he is still beholden to the Monarch for appointing him as head of SMART Partnership Secretariate or to prove his loyalty to the King. We trust Martin to be one of the few journalists with credibility that can restore the image of the Times of Swaziland. 
The SDP also calls upon MISA to investigate this story so that they can protect other journalists who may face similar harassment or worse persecution. We must all defend the independence of journalists and journalism as a profession from royal vultures like Senzo Dlamini.
Statement issued by Swaziland Diaspora Platform.

Twitter handle:      @swazidiaspora
Contact:                  Ntombenhle Khathwane

Friday, 7 September 2012



The Swaziland Diaspora Platform would like to congratulate the people of Swaziland as led by the Swaziland United Democratic Front and Swaziland Democracy Campaign in clearly defining what they want for themselves and future generations as captured in the People's Charter.

As a blueprint of a future that can only be achieved through a people-centric democratic system, the People's Charter is both an important and urgent milestone, and the Swaziland Diaspora Platform reiterates its support of the pro-democracy movement.

It could not have come at a better time as the World Economic Forum released it's 2012 - 2013 Global Competitiveness Report on 6th September 2012 as well; which placed Swaziland at 136th out of 144 countries, eight places from the bottom.  The report paints a grim picture of Swaziland, the picture is one of a country in regression that will soon be classified as a failed state if the people do not take ownership.  The People's Charter is a clear declaration of what the people of Swaziland want, how they will achieve it and importantly, that they will own it.

Although categorised as a Middle-Income economy, the inequality is so skewed that 63% of Swazis are categorised as poor, an anomaly created by poor government policies.  The current government policies ensure that 10% of the population own 60% of the economy whilst neglecting delivery on health and education.  Swaziland's competitiveness on higher education is ranked at 125th out of 144 countries and 135th out of 144 countries for health and primary education.  

Only a People's Government can change things around and ensure that the middle-income classification of Swaziland reflects equal distribution of resources to all 1.2 million Swazis.

We would like to challenge all Swazis to stand up and fight for democracy in Swaziland. People of the world have shown that they are willing to support us not just in words but in action too. The demonstrations held in Togo, Senegal, Congo, Germany, South Africa and the UK in solidarity with the Swazi struggle show that our voices are being heard all over the world and it does not do our cause any good if we keep bickering and fighting over turfs while our people are dying in this silent genocide. 

As the Diaspora community we have left our comforts, we no longer lament about the situation back at home or at worse Facebook our frustrations, instead we have taken the road less travelled and are acting for change. We continue to see ourselves as a neutral platform that will relentlessly fight for unity amongst all those fighting for democracy in Swaziland. 

However, we are under no illusion that such unity shall be built mechanically, instead it shall be a product of our collective will to fight together in the trenches. We therefore would like to welcome the People's Charter as a new dawn, a uniting glue that must rally all society for democratic change.

The SDP remains committed to working with all forces for change in Swaziland regardless of race, sex, religious and political affiliations. As the SDP we shall wave high the flag of the People's Charter, champion it wherever we go as well as defend it as it now a pact through which we shall hold any future government accountable. No more shall we sign a blank cheque to any government without concrete deliverables.

Forward to a People's Charter!!!
Forward to the voices of the oppressed!!!
Forward to the voices of the rural women and ex miners!!!
Forward to the implementation of the concerns of the disabled and minority groups!!!
A new Swaziland lurks in the horizon.


The Swaziland Diaspora Platform

Twitter:    @swazidiaspora

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

South Africa Shows Multi-Party Democracy at Work By Refusing to Loan Swaziland R2.4 Billion

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform is pleased beyond measure at the motion initiated by the Democratic Alliance and unreservedly supported by the ANC in the South African National Parliament that Swaziland should not get the R2.4 Billion loan unless and until the Swaziland government meets the following conditions:

- The scrapping of the 39 year old state of emergency;
- The implementation of Universal Human Rights;
- That none of the loan funds be spent on the monarchy;
- The immediate implementation of a multi-party transitional government; and
- The immediate start of multi-party negotiations towards a new democratic constitution for Swaziland.

This is in accordance with what the Swaziland Mass Democratic Movement has always called for, for almost four decades. It is welcome that Swaziland's closest neighbour and biggest trading partner, South Africa,  has through both it's ruling party, the ANC, and official opposition, the DA, made it clear to the world that it is serious not only about uplifting the livelihood of South Africans but is concerned about uplifting all Africans; and prioritises regional integration through responsive, accountable and transparent democratic governments.

South Africa has shown Swazis and the rest of Africa how a multi-party democracy is really about the people, and that at the end of it all the common denominator and most important goal is the pursuit of a better life for all the people, all of the time despite ideological and other differences.


The Swaziland Diaspora Platform


Twitter:      @swazidiaspora
Blog:            Http://

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Media Invitation: Invitation To Political Alternatives in Swaziland Indaba - Johannesburg, 18 August 2012

Dear Journalist/Editor

Invitation To Political Alternatives in Swaziland Indaba – 18 August 2012

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform (SDP) cordially invites you to a historical moment in the Mass Democratic Movement in Swaziland; the Political Alternatives Indaba taking place on 18 August 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The past few months have been very busy with regards to movement and pressure on the Swaziland regime to democratise, after 29 years of ruling Swaziland under a State of Emergency where political parties are banned and civil rights are censored. Teachers have been on a 7-week strike and go-slow in demand for a 4.5% pay increase, the first in three year; which has since escalated to a demand for the democratisation of Swaziland.  Other unions have joined, including nurses who are embarking on a strike due to unsafe working conditions, 4.5% pay increase and a lack of medication and medical instruments.

The last absolute monarch in Africa, King Mswati III on 6th August 2012 responded by using an old trick of calling the nation to the cattle kraal to “discuss” issues affecting the nation, instead of holding discussions with aggrieved trade unions.  The King has lashed out at the international community and pro-democracy movement for pushing for democracy, instead of unbanning political parties so that there is a people’s government that works for the people and accounts for the people.

To assist in the push for democratisation, the Swaziland Diaspora Platform is hosting the Political Alternatives Indaba, where all “active” political parties have been invited to present their vision for a democratic Swaziland.  The people of Swaziland are ready for change but need to understand what exactly multi-party democracy means that is different from this self-serving Monarch. 

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform is a civic organisation formed by Swazis living outside of Swaziland to support pro-democracy movements, promote a culture of human rights and socio-economic equality for all Swazis.

Swaziland is going through very tough economic times and these are caused by the global recession but the biggest causes are the policy choices by the Monarch and its government.  The people baring the brunt of the economic hard times are the rural poor who constitute 70% of the 1.5 million Swazi population.  Swaziland is renowned for its lack of an accountable and transparent government and has a parliament that has no power to perform oversight, inform government policy and monitor budget allocation and expenditure.  The King has legislative, executive powers and heavy influence on the judiciary.

The calls for democracy have been increasing over the years as more and more Swazis realize that they are being denied the dignity to exist and be recognized as humans as well as citizens that have control and influence over their own destiny and that of their community and country.  As more and more Swazis lose the ability to provide themselves and their families with food and shelter, and government fails to provide quality health, education and social services, the people of Swaziland want a People’s Government Now!

The Political Alternatives Indaba will be taking place as follows:

Date: 18 August 2012
Venue: Sunnyside Park Hotel, Parktown, Johannesburg
Time: 09h00

Attached is the programme as well as poster-invitation, please note that S’dumo Dlamini – President of COSATU will be giving a keynote address as well.

Should you have any queries please contact the spokesperson for the Swaziland Diaspora Platform, Ms Ntombenhle Khathwane on 072 1899 361 or and


Organized by the Swaziland Diaspora Platform

Johannesburg, Saturday 18th August, 2012

08:00 – 09:00

Arrival and registration of participants (Tea/Coffee)

09:00 – 09:15

Opening and welcome of participants by Swaziland Diaspora Platform

09:15 – 10:40

Session One: Political Parties’ presentations

Party A:                        09:15 – 09:40

Party B:                        09:45 – 10:10

Party C:                         10:15: - 10:40

Rules and structure of these sessions:

Parties will each be allocated twenty-five minutes. Each will be allowed fifteen minutes to make presentations and ten minutes to take questions from the audience, including the media but not members of other political parties. The order in which parties speak will be determined by random draw of lots on the morning of the indaba.

Political parties fifteen minute presentations must be structured as follows:

Part I: A presentation of the party’s vision for a new Swaziland. This part should address the following questions:
A.    What is the political ideology underpinning the party and its objectives for a new Swaziland?
B.    What form of government does the party envisage for a democratic Swaziland?
C.    How does your party plan to tackle corruption and mismanagement within the public service?
D.    What are your party’s plans to grow the economy, create jobs and reduce poverty?
E.     What policies do you have for resolving the crises in the education, health and welfare sectors?
Part II: A presentation of your party’s plan for arriving at this new Swaziland. This should address the following questions:
A.    How does your party plan to engage with the population of Swaziland?
B.    How many members does your party currently have? How is your party organized internally and are there democratic elections to senior positions within the party?
C.    What strategies does your party have to create more political space in Swaziland?
D.    How does your party plan to get the government to the negotiating table?
E.     What is your party’s position on the use of violence to achieve political freedom?
F.     How will your party enlist the support of international allies to support the democratic movement in Swaziland?

NB: All parties must take note of the following ground rules:
·       Time limits will be strictly enforced.
·       Deviation from the structure of the presentations as outlined above will not be permitted and any parties presenting material that departs from this will be interrupted by the facilitator.
·       This is a unique chance for your party to present your forward looking and forward thinking plans for the Swazi nation and the facilitator of this meeting has been instructed to be active and firm so as to avoid the meeting moving away from that purpose.
·       If the facilitator is not satisfied that the speaker is addressing one of the points outlined in the above structure, he/she will intervene.
·       No personal or party insults are allowed to be made.

10:40 – 11:00


11:00 – 13:00

Session Two: Political Parties’ presentations

Party D:                        11:00 – 11:25

Party E:                        11:30 – 11:55

Party F:                        12:00 – 12:25

Party G:                        12:30 – 12:55

13:00 – 14:30

Lunch Break/Media Interviews

14:30 – 16:00

Session Three: Inter Party Discussion

This session will allow political parties to ‘cross-examine’ each other on the plans, strategies and policies that each have presented in the morning. It will provide an opportunity for robust and open political debate as might be imagined were these parties sitting together in a freely elected Swazi Parliament.


Each party leader is allowed one question plus a follow up to each of the other leaders.  Answers limited to 1 minute for the main answer 30 seconds for the follow up.

Each party leader will respond to all of the questions directed at him consecutively.

Again, the order will be chosen at random.

NB: Again, all parties must take note of the following ground rules:
·       Time limits will be strictly enforced.
·       Deviation from the structure of the presentations as outlined above will not be permitted and any parties presenting material that departs from this will be interrupted by the facilitator.
·       This is a unique chance for your party to present your forward looking and forward thinking plans for the Swazi nation and the facilitator of this meeting has been instructed to be active and firm so as to avoid the meeting moving away from that purpose.
·       If the facilitator is not satisfied that the speaker is addressing one of the points outlined in the above structure, he/she will intervene.
·       No personal or party insults are allowed to be made.

16:00 – 16:20

Keynote Address By S’dumo Dlamini – President of COSATU

16:20 – 17:20

Session Four: Plenary

One representative of each political party will sit on a panel of seven people and the audience will be able to ask questions on any issue to any party leader of their choice. The media will be encouraged to also ask questions at this stage.

17:20 – 17:30

Closing and words of thanks by SCCCO

All political parties are please requested to sign and return this document as agreement that they will abide by the rules as well as present on all the questions listed.

Monday, 13 August 2012



The Swaziland Diaspora Platform would like to commend the people of Swaziland for boycotting the local government elections currently under way.  The low voter turn out is a clear sign that the majority of the people of Swaziland want a multiparty democracy now!

The political farce of the Cattle Kraal (Sibaya) consultative forum or People's Parliament as conducted by King Mswati III last week under the guise that it is an example of the kind of direct democracy practised in Swaziland has ended and with it any hopes that steps towards true democracy will ever be initiated by the King and his government. 

It has never been a more indicative time to keep up the pressure for a real people’s government, this means all people of Swaziland and the world taking action in every corner of the country and the globe, starting with participating in the Global Week Of Action On Swaziland 03 -07 September 2012.

The Mswati’s forum was open enough to permit anyone from any background to speak about any issue and make recommendations, however none of those recommendations were taken seriously.  The King closed his Sibaya by saying he will consult experts about issues raised and adopted none. 

Off course nothing will ever happen because the majority of submissions require for him to democratise the country and relinquish the absolute powers he has over the executive, legislative and judicial spheres of Swaziland. 

Proof of this, is the fact that the last time Mswati III held what he calls a People's Parliament was in 2005.  He held this one hastily to divert attention and criticism over the protracted teacher's strike and to pretend at democratising to the international community, especially South Africa, which is preparing to loan Mswati III and his government R2.4 Billion.  

South Africa and other international donors should withhold support until concrete actions towards multiparty democracy are in place, starting with unbanning political parties and holding off the 2013 elections until they are held under the auspices of a multi-party democratic system.

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform would like to call on the people of Swaziland to reclaim their government and country and participate fully and nationwide in the Global Week Of Action On Swaziland (GWOAS) taking place all over Swaziland and the world from 03 - 07 September 2012 under the theme "A Call For A People's Government NOW!"

The Global Week Of Action On Swaziland has been taking place annually for a few years and this year will be the biggest action as more and more partners around the world join in support for a democratic Swaziland.  

A democratic Swaziland means no more poverty, no more hunger, better education, better healthcare and more jobs!


The Swaziland Diaspora Platform

Twitter:                    @swazidiaspora
Spokesperson:      Ntombenhle Khathwane
                                +27 72 1899 361

Wednesday, 8 August 2012




As King Mswati III holds his cattle kraal consultations as a way of duping Swazis and the world into thinking he is democratic and cares about the difficult conditions under which Swazis find themselves living under, there is one thing that is certain, the King does not intend to lose or concede an ounce of power by permitting democratisation or unbanning of political parties in Swaziland.

King Mswati III has called us to the kraal under the pretense of a people’s parliament to ensure that he shapes and moulds their opinion and attitudes and defines for them what is normal and acceptable.  

He already has set the stage for doing so by elevating the importance of culture amongst Swazis and rejecting Western influences that encourage democracy.  He has further demonized the idea of democratisation by blaming the problems plaguing Swaziland on everything happening in the global economy and no blame apportioned to the poor policy choices he and his government make everyday.

We, the people of Swaziland ought to reject these efforts by the King by not participating and giving his theatre show legitimacy.  He will use our attendance to justify his continued neglect of the Constitution, neglect of human rights, neglect of people-centred service delivery, neglect of social welfare and refusal to run an accountable and responsive government.

Instead, we, the people, should use the opportunity to march on his residence and demand a people’s government, NOW!  We should demand that the King declare a process of democratisation and surrender power to the people in order for us to determine our own priorities, determine our own parliament, determine our own government, and determine our own future.

King Mswati III is trying to make it seem as if he is running a direct democracy and therefore Tinkhundla is the most democratic system.  But for that to be true there has to be so many fundamentals that have to exist, such as people determining priorities and every person having an equal vote on those issues. It also requires that all citizens be equally knowledgeable on issues and governance and the impact of the choices available.  This is not the case in Swaziland and cannot be possible with the current political infrastructure.

Political parties form a pivotal institution in a healthy democracy. Without well-functioning parties, governments and legislatures have little chance of representing wider society in a meaningful way. Political parties are the bridge between government and society, both in the ways they translate society’s demands into political ideas and programmes, and in the way they hold government to account on society’s behalf.

While rejecting the use of Sibaya to address governance issues, the Swaziland Diaspora Platform would like to challenge King Mswati III to show if he cares for the people of Swaziland by using the forum to unban political parties, dismiss parliament, set up an all inclusive interim government, give all civil servants 4.5 percent salary increase, reinstate all fired teachers as well as stop the sham Tinkhundla elections.


Twitter:                                  @swazidiaspora
Spokesperson:                     Ntombenhle Khathwane
                                                +27 72 1899 361