On the 6th September, 2010, a contingent of around 400 armed Police and army officers swooped and arrested leaders of Trade Unions and Civil society organizations during a preparatory meeting for a mass protest action set for the 7th and 8th September, 2010.
The security forces assaulted, insulted, shoved and pushed into Police vans the about 40 leaders and activists gathered at the Tum’s George Hotel.
Amongst those arrested and detained at the Manzini Police Regional Headquarters included the following:
Muzi Mhlanga – General Secretary of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers.
Vincent Ncongwane – General Secretary of the Swaziland Federation of Labour.
Sibusiso Lushaba – General Secretary of the Swaziland Nurses Association.
Fundizwi Sikhondze – National Organizing Secretary, Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions.
Musa Hlophe – Co-ordinator of the Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Civil Organisation.
Muzi Masuku – OSISA Country Manager.
Dr. Sikelela Dlamini – Swaziland Democracy Campaign.
Phumelele Dlamini – Swaziland Democracy Campaign
Mary da Silva – Swaziland Democracy Campaign
Mpandlana Shongwe – Swaziland Democracy Campaign.
Wandile Dludlu – Swaziland Youth Congress, President.
Zanele Congress of South African Trade Unions, Deputy
George Mahlangu – COSATU Official South Africa’s NUMSA Vice
Ntokozo Mbele – Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SA chapter).
Steve Faulker – International Relations Officer, South African
Municipal workers unions.
Sikhumbuzo Phakathi – CCEPPWU International Affairs
Frank Mncina – General Secretary, Swaziland Amalgamated
Trade Unions, and many more other activists.
Jabu Shiba – Deputy Secretary General; SFL
All the detained Comrades were ordered to record statements and some were forced to sign ready made statements by the Police.
The Police have vowed to stop the legal mass protest action organised by the Labour Federation in Swaziland in the event trade unionists from the region and across the globe.
Attends army and Police roadblocks are mounted in every entry point to Swaziland and uses of those routes are physically searched causing long ques of Traffic jamming.
All the local activists were released without being charged for any offence save for the leaders of the South African Trade Unions, who were bungled in police and army vehicles and deported to the Republic of South Africa.
The City of Manzini is re-sembling a war zone with the police and the army roaming the streets and threatening people.
The Government of Swaziland has grinded to zero levels any activities of trade unions and the situation has gone worse than pathetic.
However, despite all these tactics of the state, the Trade Unions in Swaziland remain committed in intensifying the pressure for their rights to operate without interference.
The mass protest action scheduled for the 7th and 8th September, in Manzini and Mbabane will continue no matter whatever.
Your solidarity with the Struggling masses of Swaziland is appreciated in advance.
Mduduzi C. Gina