Friday, 29 June 2012




The Swaziland Diaspora Platform welcomes the deliberations and resolutions taken by the ANC Committee on International Relations at its Policy Conference taking place at Gallagher Estate. The resolutions, especially those on Swaziland clearly reflect the determination of the South African government to see the people of the SADC region living better lives through democratic governments that meet the aspirations of the people. “We support the democratisation of Swaziland,” Lindiwe Zulu, a member of the international relations committee told reporters at the ANC's national policy conference in Midrand, Johannesburg.

Zulu further stated that the ANC resolved to push forward for the unbanning of political parties in the authoritarian Kingdom that has been led by an undemocratic monarch since a 1973 Decree that banned political parties. She also put to rest the rumors that the South African government was loaning Swaziland the R2.4 Billion possibly without the conditions attached to it by the MOU that the Swaziland government has been resisting to sign since last year, which requires the unbanning of political parties and improving of fiscal governance.

This is hugely welcomed as the Swaziland government has been steadfast in contravening the Constitution and resisting taking crucial steps to bring fiscal reform. The government has does not account on its expenditure as King Mswati III visibly continues with an over the top lavish lifestyle yet it is clear that the Swazi government does not spend on social programmes as the Swaziland health care system continues to struggle without basic medicines and civil servants like teachers have gone without a pay increase for over two years, despite increased inflation.

International solidarity with oppressed peoples has never been more important in this globalised world and state sovereignty can no longer be used as a defence by oppressive regimes.  The development of the SADC region is dependent on democracy being the norm in all member states, and recognition of the interdependence of the peoples of this region affects the ability of individual and the collective membership of SADC to develop is the first step towards regional development.

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform reiterates its call for King Mswati III to relinquish his reigns and permit a multi-party democracy in Swaziland before the Kingdom is isolated and the people of Swaziland continue to be ravaged by poverty and poor social services.


Swaziland Diaspora Platform

Media Queries:
Spokesperson: Ntombenhle Khathwane
Twitter: @swazidiaspora

Wednesday, 27 June 2012




The Swaziland Diaspora Platform pledges its unwavering support to the strike action by the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT). We feel that the demand by teachers for a 4.5% salary increment is just and correct.

We reject the false notion that government does not have money because we continue to witness extravagance and misplaced budget priorities by the government.

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform believes that education is an undeniable prerequisite towards social and economic advancement of the Swazi Society, and teachers are the mainstay of the Swazi economy by producing quality minds and skilled labour that is able to play a meaningful and productive role in the ever advancing global economy.  It is the right of every Swazi child to access quality education and by denying teachers fair pay, government is jeopardizing access to quality education and a means out of poverty.
We stand alongside the teachers because we recognize them as the backbone of the economy and they must benefit from their hard toil and investment. Teachers are the nurturers of tomorrow’s leaders, and every person who is a professional owes their success to the hard work, patience and dedication of teachers.

For the Swazi government to deny teachers a below inflation salary increase of 4.5% is like cutting its own nose to spite its face because to insist that teachers survive on a wage that has been compromised by inflation and the recently introduced VAT will undoubtedly result in the lowering of the standard of education and increased poverty.  Teachers can’t focus on their work if they are worried about how they will feed their families or educate their own children.

If the government continues to refuse to listen to the genuine pleas for a basic survival wage, then it goes without saying that government continues to bully workers, to bully the poor who can’t afford private schooling and to put the needs of the nation at huge risk at this critical time of the education calendar.

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform therefore pledges its commitment to work to magnify the struggles of the Swazi teachers and to offer our own practical solidarity towards this end.  The SDP also implores government to revisit its budget allocations and to prioritise the welfare of the Swazi people.

Statement Issued by Swaziland Diaspora Platform
Media Inquiries:
Ms. Ntombenhle Khathwane – Spokesperson
+27 72 327 6497
Twitter: @swazidiaspora

Friday, 15 June 2012

Swaziland Is No Different From Apartheid South Africa

Swaziland Is No Different From Apartheid South Africa

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform believes that the government of King Mswati III is now synonymous with the Apartheid government.  It is getting brutal and infringing on the rights of the people of Swaziland more everyday because it is confident that the people of Swaziland remain fearful of violence and the international community is not interested in the small country of 1.1 million people.

In it’s latest show of arrogance and forceful disdain of any form of dissent, the government ordered the police, army and correctional services officers to use force to stop a legally sanctioned strike and protest action by teachers, this eventually culminated in the shooting of two young children as the King’s armed forces attempted to disrupt an otherwise peaceful protest march.

This happens as South Africa commemorates the heroics of youth that culminated in mass action in June 16 1976, where the imagery of Hector Pietersen, a young boy shot by the Apartheid police during the student’s protest, still evokes painful memories of that painful past.  Such violence by King Mswati’s armed forces on the St. Andrew’s pupil is indicative of a ruthless and selfish regime that is using all means to prevent transition towards a government that will be accountable and responsive to the needs of the people of Swaziland, the majority of which live below the poverty line.

It is time for the youth of Swaziland to salvage their future and stand up against the government of King Mswati III.  If they continue to be bystanders then the Swaziland they will inherit will be worse than it is today.  Mswati III will have plundered the few natural resources and economic competitiveness the country has.  The economy will grow at a negative rate, meaning jobs will continue to be lost.  Parents currently employed by government will be forced to retire without pensions, as government already owes the civil servants pension fund over R600 million.

The Swaziland government and the Monarch have gained confidence that the people of Swaziland will not turn to the streets and revolt as it happened in North Africa. Unfortunately the Arab Spring led by youths in North African countries like Egypt and Tunisia did not trickle down to sub-Saharan countries as would have seemed likely as many sub-Saharan youth sit with similar if not worse dissatisfaction than their north African counterparts.  The origins and mass mobilisation towards the overthrow of governments in Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt were covered extensively in media, yet in Swaziland there was little street protestations against the government, even though there's nationwide sentiment that change needs to occur.

The Swaziland government, like the Apartheid government, controls the quality of education and information accessible to Swazis.  It serves the government of Swaziland and the monarch to keep the majority of Swazis poor, that way they are too busy trying to survive instead of meeting, talking and collaborating on forcing a transition towards democratisation.  It serves the government of Swaziland to limit access to media, Internet and information, because it makes government the sole provider of knowledge ensuring that the majority of Swazis have no idea how much power they can amass and what they can do with that collective power to usher in a democratic government that is keen to serve the interests of the people and not the few who are in good stead with the monarch.

There are a few reasons why there was no "Arab Spring" in Swaziland and most of the reasons are particular to Swazis.  These range from the very limited Internet penetration, to highly censored media and the indoctrination of cultural and identity attributes that make it difficult for Swazis to rebel against the King.

Due to continued maladministration and lack of political will to effect necessary changes, the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank have withdrawn from Swaziland and are not offering any support to help government put financial governance systems in place and reduce its expenditure, which would make it easier for government to access funding towards key areas like health and education.  Instead government has increased VAT to get more revenue directly from people, who are already tightly squeezed and increased funding allocation to the large Monarch and its supporting institutions.  The economy is stagnant and is projected to remain so for the next few years.  It is a bleak outlook for the youth of Swaziland indeed.

Socio-economic conditions are getting worse in Swaziland.  The quality of education and health care is weakening every year, making it more costly and difficult for Swazis to pursue higher education and employment inside and outside of the country.  Government increasingly relies on donor funding for health and education programmes, and there's decreased support for university students.  The nature of the State prohibits any form of exchange of information and knowledge that is not generated by State machinery, and has recently announced it has started looking into passing legislation that will censor the internet in Swaziland.  The Swaziland Diaspora Platform urges the youth of Swaziland to fight for their future, before there is little left to fight for.

Twitter: @swazidiaspora