“The monarchy is trying to hunt us all down—our comrades are being followed, abducted and tortured. None of us are safe as long as this regime exists,” said Simphiwe Dlamini, international secretary of the Communist Party of Swaziland, regarding the rule of King Mswati III, Africa’s last absolute monarch
21-year-old Mvuselelo Mkhabela, a Central Committee member of the banned Communist Party of Swaziland, who had continued organizing anti-monarchist resistance underground after escaping police custody with a bullet wound, was arrested in April and tortured again
The Communist Party of Swaziland is continuing to organize actions protesting the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country. Swaziland is the last remaining monarchy in Africa, and the people of the country have been facing brutal repression for resisting the king’s rule.
Speaking to Peoples Dispatch from his hideout, the 21-year-old narrated how he escaped from the police and made it to safety with the help of his comrades, following hours of torture, after being shot by the King’s police while leading a pro-democracy protest
Mvuselelo was reportedly shot and dragged into a police van. His current whereabouts are unknown. Mvuselelo was tortured earlier this month for protesting elections
In Swaziland, only individuals approved by the local chiefs of King Mswati III can contest elections, and the parliament cannot hold the monarchy accountable. Pro-democracy activists have been calling for a boycott of the elections which are scheduled for August
Activist and lawyer Thulani Maseko, who was at the forefront of Swaziland’s struggle for democracy, was gunned down hours after King Mswati’s threatening speech to pro-democracy activists. PUDEMO President Mlungisi Makhanya talks about Thulani’s struggle and what his killing means for the country
Swaziland’s Deputy PM Themba Masuku has threatened to imprison Sticks Nkambule, the leader of transport workers’ union whose members withdrew labor and brought Swaziland to a halt on December 13-14
Speaking from the hospital where he was admitted after being allegedly tortured by the security forces, union leader Mbhekeni Dlamini told Peoples Dispatch, “I will keep on fighting until all my comrades are freed from prison, until all Swazi people are freed from the monarchy”
Mlungisi Makhanya, president of one of the largest pro-democracy political parties, PUDEMO, whose house was attacked “remains unshaken, defiant”
“I was held face down at gunpoint with my arms and legs bound behind for half an hour, while they fired shots and chased down my comrades,” CPS central committee member Vuyiswa Maseko told Peoples Dispatch.
The police attempted to arrest CPS member Bongi Nkambule, who was abducted and tortured by the police in March. When they failed to capture him, they took his wife into custody and beat her up in the police station. There has been an upsurge of resistance in Swaziland recently