Tuesday, August 22, 2017

‘POLICE EXECUTE MAN COWBOY STYLE’



Police in Swaziland ‘executed’ a suspect ‘cowboy style’ when they shot him at point blank range, a local newspaper reported.

Siboniso ‘Door’ Mdluli, aged 22, of Maseyisini, was gunned down on Friday evening (18 August 2017) but was only found dead the next day.

The Swazi Observer reported on Monday, ‘It is believed he died as a result of excessive bleeding. It is said police riddled him with bullets as he was fleeing while they were trying to arrest him.’

It happened when police raided the home of Mdluli’s girlfriend. They were searching for him in connection to an alleged armed robbery and illegal possession of a firearm.  

The newspaper reported, ‘It is said the police identified themselves and bulldozed their way inside and dragging Mdluli out. The mission involved two plain clothed police officers armed with an R4 rifle and a pistol.’

The Observer added, ‘They told him they were acting on a tipoff after he was said to have pointed a firearm at someone threatening to shoot them, a source said. It was then that the whole house was ransacked and things turned upside down with the hope of finding the gun.

‘However, no firearm was found. The police then dragged Mdluli out and proceeded with him to their vehicle which was parked within the yard.’ Mdluli resisted and tried to flee.

The Observer reported, ‘Just when he was a short distance away the police opened fire and hit him on the back just below the buttocks. He is said to have not stopped and continued running. He disappeared in the thick of the night and with the police chasing after him.  

‘He reportedly crawled until he reached another homestead situated over a kilometre away from the scene, trying to seek help.

‘However, he found all houses locked since it was late in the night. He then sprawled behind one of the houses, where he was found dead [by residents the next morning].’

Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Khulani Mamba said the deceased got shot while he was escaping a lawful arrest, the newspaper reported.

See also

POLICE SHOOT UP ‘DRINK-DRIVER’S’ CAR

POLICE SHOOT SURRENDERING MAN

SWAZI POLICE ‘MURDER’ SUSPECT

POLICE ‘EXECUTE’ SUSPECT IN STREET

SWAZI POLICE SHOOT-TO-KILL AGIN

POLICE SHOOT AND KILL MENTALLY ILL MAN
 
POLICE ‘SHOT ACCUSED RAPIST IN HEAD’

POLICE SHOOT-TO-KILL ON BUS

POLICE KILL SURRENDERING MAN

Monday, August 21, 2017

COURT BLOCKS SYMPATHY STRIKE



The Industrial Court in Swaziland has blocked an intended sympathy strike in support of Nedbank workers.

Swaziland Union of Financial Institution and Allied Workers (SUFIAW) had asked members in all banks across the kingdom to strike on Friday (18 August 2017) in support of a long-running dispute over pay.

In Swaziland, which is ruled by King Mswati III, the last absolute monarch in sub-Saharan Africa, ‘secondary’ or ‘sympathy’ strikes are illegal.

The strike at Nedbank over a 10 percent cost of living adjustment continues.

In 2015 Swaziland was named as one of the ten worst countries for working people in the world, in a report from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

The kingdom was grouped alongside some of the worst human rights violators in the world, including Belarus, China, Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

The report called The World’s Worst Countries for Workers, reviewed the conditions workers faced during the previous year.

Among the worst cases in Swaziland the ITUC reported on the strike at the Maloma Mine which is partly owned by King Mswati.

It reported, ‘Some 250 workers went on strike on 24 November [2014], after the mine management refused to negotiate over a US$72 housing allowance with the Amalgamated Trade Unions of Swaziland (ATUSWA). All legal requirements were observed by the striking workers, and even though the strike was peaceful, the workers were surrounded by police equipped with riot shields, protective headgear, guns and teargas.

‘During the strike, management refused the workers access to water, toilets and medical facilities. Chancellor House, the investment arm of the ANC, owns 75% of the Maloma mine, with the remaining 25% owned by the Tibiyo Taka Ngwane, a fund controlled by King Mswati III, who is one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchs.’

ITUC also reported that the Swazi Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini, ‘publicly threatened Sipho Gumedze from the Lawyers for Human Rights and TUCOSWA [Trade Union Congress of Swaziland] General Secretary Vincent Ncongwane because of their participation in the US Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. 

‘Prime Minister Dlamini made the following statement during a speech in Parliament: “They leave your constituencies and do not even inform you where they are going and once they come back and you find out that they are from your constituency you must strangle them.”’

A week after that report was issued, the International Labour Organization (ILO) told Swaziland it must stop interfering in the activities of trade unions; ensure workers’ organizations are fully assured of their rights and ensure they have the autonomy and independence they need to represent workers.
The ILO placed Swaziland in a ‘special paragraph’ in its annual report to highlight the deficiencies in the kingdom’s commitment to freedom of association.

See also

MORE WORKERS JOIN SUGARCANE TRADE UNION

HUMAN SUFFERING AND SWAZI SUGAR

KING EXPLOITS SUGAR WORKERS

Thursday, August 17, 2017

SWAZI KING WRONG ON CONSTITUTION



King Mswati III, Swaziland’s absolute monarch, mislead when he told a television reporter that the constitution in his kingdom was the will of the people.

In fact at the time the 2005 constitution was being drafted, the International Bar Association, a group invited by King Mswati to make comments, called it ‘flawed’ and ‘a fraud’.

King Mswati said in an interview with the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) uploaded to the Internet on Monday (14 August 2017), ‘When we created the constitution, this constitution which went around the people of this country, every Swazi participated... was invited to come make a submission in terms of how you want to see your constitution of this country, even when the constitution was drafted before it was actually adopted.  It also was to give back to the nation, to read, and everyone was able to be given a chance to make submissions and to comment... this was a process that took some years, so we finally have a product of after nine years of consultation.’

He also said Swaziland was a democratic nation ‘in the sense that it is people driven. It is not a one person state. It is the people saying this is how we want to be governed.’

The King and his supporters have maintained for years that the Swazi Constitution is legitimate and the will of the people. However, the International Bar Association , a group of experienced lawyers, was called in by King Mswati III in 2003 to comment on the first draft of the constitution. It called the process ‘flawed’ and reported that one critic went so far as to call it a ‘fraud’.  The resulting report called Striving for Democratic Governance was stark in its criticism of both the process of ‘consultation’ on the constitution and the wording of the document itself.

One of the IBA’s main conclusions was that the ‘position and powers’ of some ‘stakeholders’ in Swaziland ‘including the Monarchy’ are in effect ‘actually placed above the Constitution and its principles’.

The IBA studied what was going on during the drafting process, which was controlled by the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC).

The CRC did not allow the judiciary or NGOs to contribute to the drafting process and ensured that individual Swazi people were interviewed in the presence of their chiefs. As a result the ‘overwhelming’ majority wanted the King to keep all his powers and wanted the position of traditional advisers to the King to be strengthened. They also wanted Swazi customs to have supremacy over any international rights obligations.

The IBA report states, ‘The terms of reference of the Commission did not allow expressly for group submissions, and as apparently they were not entertained, NGOs per se were effectively prevented from commenting. The IBA panel considers that, unfortunately, this in itself deprived the CRC of much valuable input.’

The IBA report goes on, ‘The CRC also faced a number of practical problems. There were disputes between local chiefs, collecting views during the rainy season in Swaziland was difficult, and several Commission members resigned.

‘The extent to which individual Swazis were consulted has also been questioned. The CRC did not keep records of the submissions it received and media coverage of submissions was apparently banned.

‘There is therefore no formal record of how Swazi citizens presented their views and of what in fact they said to the CRC.

‘Furthermore, information was elicited in a highly charged atmosphere. Individuals were reportedly asked, in the presence of chiefs, whether they wanted to retain the King and whether they preferred political parties.

‘The CRC report states that “there is a small minority which recommends that the powers of the monarchy must be limited” and continued that “an overwhelming majority of the nation recommends that political parties must be banned”.

‘The report concludes that “an overwhelming majority recommends that the system of Government based on the Tinkhundla must continue” and, as well as the ban on political parties being maintained, that the executive powers of the King should be maintained, the position of traditional advisers to the King strengthened, and Swazi customs have supremacy over any contrary international rights obligations.’

In November 2007 the Swaziland High Court ruled that documents pertaining to the drafting process could not be made available for public scrutiny, thereby allowing the ruling elite to maintain the fiction of full consultation.

Under the constitution the monarchy remains above the law and political parties are banned.
Many organisations have called for Swaziland’s constitution to be rewritten to make the kingdom more democratic.

In July 2008 the European Union declined an invitation to monitor the Swaziland national election later that year because, it said, it was clear the kingdom was not a democracy. Later, it suggested a wholesale review of the constitution was in order.

In November 2008 the Commonwealth Expert Team, which had monitored the election called for a review because the elections were not credible since political parties were banned in Swaziland. It said that the review ‘should be carried out through a process of full consultation with Swazi political organisations and civil society (possibly with the support of constitutional experts).’

After the most recent national election in 2013, the African Union (AU) mission that observed it called for fundamental changes in the kingdom to ensure people have freedom of speech and of assembly. The AU said the Swaziland Constitution guaranteed ‘fundamental rights and freedoms including the rights to freedom of association’, but in practice ‘rights with regard to political assembly and association are not fully enjoyed’. The AU said this was because political parties were not allowed to contest elections.

The AU urged Swaziland to review the Constitution, especially in the areas of ‘freedoms of conscience, expression, peaceful assembly, association and movement as well as international principles for free and fair elections and participation in electoral process’.

In 2015, following a visit to Swaziland, a Commonwealth mission renewed its call for the constitution to be reviewed so the kingdom could move toward democracy.

In its report on the 2013 elections, the Commonwealth observers recommended that measures be put in place to ensure separation of powers between the government, parliament and the courts so that Swaziland was in line with its international commitments.

They also called on the Swaziland Constitution to be ‘revisited’.

The report stated, ‘This should ideally be carried out through a fully inclusive, consultative process with all Swazi political organisations and civil society (needed, with the help of constitutional experts), to harmonise those provisions which are in conflict. The aim is to ensure that Swaziland’s commitment to political pluralism is unequivocal.’

It also recommended that a law be passed to allow for political parties to take part in elections, ‘so as to give full effect to the letter and spirit of Section 25 of the Constitution, and in accordance with Swaziland’s commitment to its regional and international commitments’.

See also

POLL OBSERVERS: REWRITE CONSTITUTION

SWAZILAND PM CONSTITUTION LIES

SWAZIS DID NOT CHOOSE POLITICAL SYSTEM