Police in Swaziland broke up a press conference on Wednesday (12 February 2014) held by the Secretary-General of the African National Congress (ANC), Gwede Mantashe.
Journalists were reportedly ‘frog-marched’ out of the venue at Lugogo Sun, Ezulwini, by police.
The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) said the meeting was to brief the media about a delegation led by Mantashe the day before that met with political parties in the kingdom.
In a statement, the SSN said, ‘Under the auspices of the Socialist International, the ANC delegation had robust and candid discussions with the Ngwane Liberation Congress, the Swaziland Democratic Party (SWADEPA) and Peoples United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO).’
All political parties are banned from taking parts in elections in Swaziland, where King Mswati III rules as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. PUDEMO is also banned under the Suppression of Terrorism Act, as is SSN.
Reports on social media from people at the press conference said the Swazi police banned the press conference for ‘security reasons’.
International media, including the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), were among the media excluded.