Monday, November 17, 2008

COSATU demands release of PUDEMO President, Mario Masuku, and condemns listing of PUDEMO as a terrorist organisation by King Mswati

COSATU demands release of PUDEMO President, Mario Masuku, and condemns listing of PUDEMO as a terrorist organisation by King Mswati

COSATU has learnt with shock the news of the arrest of Comrade Mario Masuku, President of the Swaziland democratic opposition organisation, PUDEMO, on Saturday 15 November.

This followed the announcement by the newly appointed Prime Minister, Barnabas Dlamini, of a new law that declares PUDEMO, SWAYOCO, SSN and Umbane to be terrorist organisations.

Swaziland is moving backwards with great speed, to even more repressive measures. Mswati is clearly an obstacle to progress in the Southern African region and particularly to the poor and suffering people of Swaziland.

The army is now literally living in people's houses, without invitation, which is a breach of privacy and personal security. The country is really under siege, merely to protect the interests of one family, the royal family, at the expense of the whole nation.

It is a scandal that he occupies the important position of Chairperson of the SADC Organ Troika, which is supposed principally to be responsible for the defence and promotion of democracy throughout the region. In particular it is responsible for trying to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe. It is no wonder that the crisis has not been resolved.

Worst still, if it is true that, as tipped, that he is to become the AU Chair of the Peace and Security Council, then we are in trouble and something must be done now before he messes up the whole continent.

Mario Masuku has been in and out of Swazi jails and has proven to be a real champion of the oppressed and suffering people of Swaziland; hence his continued targeting by the Swazi royal junta. The regime is refusing to accept that it has not won the battle to break his spirit in the past, and still hopes to do so now.

COSATU calls on all progressive and democracy-loving people of the world to take action to force Mswati to change, beginning with the immediate and unconditional release of Masuku and all other political prisoners.

It is a challenge to all South Africans, the alliance in particular, that we still have still surviving next door a regime that has defied democracy for so long. We call for a renewal of an effective global solidarity movement to highlight the plight of the struggling Swazi people, mobilise support for them and engage in practical and sustained activities to expose the situation in Swaziland.

We have just completed our week long, low-intensity boycott of goods to Swaziland and we now need to step it up and engage a high-intensity boycott, which we shall do as soon as we are requested by our Swazi comrades.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
1-5 Leyds Cnr Biccard Streets
Braamfontein, 2017

P.O. Box 1019
Johannesburg, 2000

Tel: +27 11 339-4911/24
Fax: +27 11 339-5080/6940/ 086 603 9667
Cell: 0828217456


  1. good work. keep it up. i think if you can liaise with the PUDEMO leadership you can get more information in including several pictures of Mario dating back to the 80's

  2. Hey, why don't you help with the photos?

    You can send to