Saturday, May 22, 2010
A massive road block was hastily mounted at Luyengo, about 10 km from Jele’s home while three senior officers waited at home to monitor his movements. Upon reaching the road block, he was spotted, quickly detained and driven to Malkerns Police station. This is where he was interrogated in the presence of senior police officers namely a Mgabhi, Mbhamali, Jele, Mabuza, Dlamini and Mthembu who was leading the investigation.
He was interrogated for close to two hours while members of PUDEMO and labour leadership waited outside. Comrade Masuku was then informed that he was being charged under the Suppression of Communism Act of 2008 for supporting terrorism by shouting “viva PUDEMO, viva SWAYOCO’ at the funeral.
Subsequently, he was ordered to write a statement, but he refused. The investigating officers then proceeded to write a statement for him which according to Masuku was meaningless. They then consulted Head Quarters in Mbabane on his detention and charges. Fingerprints and all his particulars were then taken.
Throughout this ordeal, visitors were not allowed until the arrival of Mr Mnisi, a lawyer. The officers disappeared for a few minutes and upon their return, Mr Masuku was informed that he was being released to the custody of his wife Thembi and son Mzwandile. However, he was warned that summons will be sent to him anytime on a date that will be decided by them.
This act by the royal police is enough evidence that Swaziland has degenerated to a pitiful state of lawlessness emanating from poor governance by the ruling regime and this must be urgently addressed by the international community including SADC and the AU. We do not wish to go through the sad experiences of both Zimbabwe and Madagascar.
As PUDEMO, we strongly condemn this act of lawlessness perpetrated by the desperate regime using its police force. It is unheard of for one to be detained, charged and then allowed to go without being admitted to bail (even free bail) and then told summons will follow “in due course.” This is blatant abuse of human rights. We wonder what more must happen in Swaziland before the international community openly and strongly address this crisis in their forums.
This case alone clearly shows why the Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008 was enacted. It was a tool meant to harass and suppress PUDEMO into submission and this is clearly failing! Why would the royal police pick on Mr Masuku and detain him for saying “viva PUDEMO, viva SWAYOCO”? The popularity of PUDEMO and its Youth League was so visible amongst the mourners who kept shouting the words throughout the night, but no the police decided to go for the PUDEMO President. This is a strategy of a confused state and must be strongly condemned. We call for the repeal of the Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008 as it is an unjust law that is used not for state security, but for purposes of intimidating and suppressing dissenting voices in Swaziland.
Head of Publicity
Zakhele Mabuza +268 7607 3453
Following the disruption and stoppage of Cde Jele’s funeral ceremony last Sunday, PUDEMO wishes to report that the second attempt of his burial was successfully carried out in the early hours of this morning at his home area, Ncabaneni. This was done in the presence of the intimidating and hostile battalion of royal police.
True to the promise of PUDEMO, the ceremony was conducted on the terms set by us in consultation with the family and the labour movement in Swaziland . The state had expected that the ceremony would be conducted in a manner very alien to the known and accepted manner understood by the struggling masses of our country. Not going to court to seek an interdict was a political decision that was reached after serious and careful consultation to avoid giving the state the right to dictate how we should conduct the burial ceremony.
PUDEMO wishes to salute the following:
- The Jele family that stood its ground in the face of a hostile intimidation by the royal police and the local traditional authority.
- The labour and civic organizations that braved the state brutality and showed solidarity with both PUDEMO and Cde Jele in this fearful era under the Suppression of Terrorism Act. This sent a clear indication to the oppressive regime in Swaziland that the people are now prepared to challenge and defy all oppressive laws that are meant to entrench the hegemony of the royal regime in Swaziland .
- The church, under the umbrella of the Council of Swaziland Churches for fearlessly standing by the oppressed masses in their hour of need with the understanding that a physically oppressed nation cannot be spiritually free.
- The rural masses of Ncabaneni for their defiance of all the intimidation and threats to discourage them from attending Cde Jele’s funeral as he was branded a ‘political criminal.’
Now the people have grown to understand that Cde Jele and PUDEMO are not terrorists, but committed and humble people of Swaziland that wish to see their people living under democratic conditions that will fully guarantee them all their rights.
LONG LIVE THE SPIRIT OF COMRADE SIPHO JELE LONG LIVE!
Head of Publicity
Zakhele Mabuza +268 7607 3453
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Killed for wearing his PUDEMO T-shirt
The royal security agents in Swaziland have done it again
We report with great grief to all our comrades both at home and internationally that Comrade Sipho Jele has died, as usual in the hands of the police. Cde Sipho was detained on Workers Day for wearing a PUDEMO t-shirt in Manzini. Subsequently, the police took him to his home in Ncabaneni looking for his membership card and returned with him to custody. On the following day, Tuesday morning the police officers returned to report to his grandmother that he has died by coomiting suicide while in custody. We know this is incorrect. A lot of people in Swaziland have died in the hands of the police and fictitious stories fabricated. And the police were ordering the old woman to bury the comrade on the same day, Tuesday.
Next they will bribe the poor family to fabricate a story on Sipho's death which shall be in favour of the regime and its killer security agents. If they fail, they shall threaten the old lady with a lot of fearful things including being evicted from her home area.
The Swaziland royal regime has always been giving the international community the wrong information that political dissenters are not imprisoned, harrassed and killed. And that Swaziland is a peaceful country. But here is a political activist getting killed for attending Workers Day and wearing a PUDEMO t-shirt. These are the same tactics that were used during apartheid South Africa to silence political activists. It is high time the international community, especially SADC genuinely take up the issue of Swaziland. How many innocent people must die before the regional leadership comes out openly to condemn the Swaziland regime and demand for democratization? Do we need to experience massive deaths like it is happening in other countries to get the international community to act?
Cde Sipho is a former worker at Usuthu Pulp. He was currently among the 2006 awaiting treason trialists. He was also in the process of furthering himself academically. PUDEMO and its Youth League have lost a hard working and committed comrade in Sipho. May his soul rest in peace! He has not died in vain, but for the freedom and liberation of our oppressed masses under the arrogant tinkhundla royal regime.
Head of Publicity
+268 607 3453
Saturday, September 19, 2009
SUCCESSFUL PRAYER FOR MARIO MASUKU
As the trial of PUDEMO President Mario Masuku draws closer, the organization organized a special prayer session that was held in Manzini today beginning at 2pm. It must be noted that this activity was successfully done.
Present among those gathered in prayer were members of the Masuku family together with Mrs Thembi Masuku, wife to the President.
Speakers in the session included representatives of Swaziland National Union of Students, Swaziland Labour Council, PUDEMO Youth League and Masuku’s younger brother Julian. All the speakers spoke in one voice, emphasizing the need for justice to done in Swaziland , but most importantly the liberation of the people of Swaziland from the oppressive and corrupt royal regime.
Leading the prayer item on the agenda was Reverend Shabalala from the Lutheran Church in Manzini, the very church that provided the venue. In his sermon, the Reverend reminded all that it is God’s will and expectations that those in power must always provide the led with justice at all times; and when there is injustice, God will always fight on the side of the oppressed.
It was indeed a successful two hours of prayer and words of wisdom in the quest for the liberation of the oppressed people of our country. We as PUDEMO know that many people in Swaziland believe in the cause we are fighting and the ideals that Comrade Mario stands for. Outside Swaziland we also know that people are doing a lot in solidarity with Mario and the suffering people of our country. Soon the illegal regime will give way and the power it stole from the people through a coup in 1973 will be restored.
PUDEMO Head of Publicity
Zakhele Mabuza +268 607 3453
Monday, September 14, 2009
PUDEMO STATEMENT ON THE MARIO MASUKU TRIAL 14 September 2009
The People's United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) wishes to alert both the Swazi public and the international community on the coming trial of its President Mario T Masuku.
Masuku was arrested in November 2008 less than 24 hours after the oppressive and undemocratic Swazi royal regime had ‘banned’ the organization describing it as terrorists. This is all because PUDEMO has over the years dared to challenge the regime to stop its dictatorial tendencies, human rights abuse, corruption, nepotism, harassment, lack of democracy, etc. For this, PUDEMO has been viewed by the regime as its greatest threat to its continued oppression of the poor masses of Swaziland.
On the 21 September, the trial shall commence at the High Court of Swaziland in Mbabane at 9am. The resilient members of PUDEMO, from all corners of the country, shall again descend on Mbabane in support of their President. They will be joined by the democracty seeking people of Swaziland under the banner of the Swaziland United Democratic Front. This is because Comrade Masuku’s detention has become a symbol of oppression for the people of Swaziland!
This will be a contest between freedom and oppression; justice and injustice. The defence team comprises fearless lawyers for human rights, who have over the years stood by and defended the oppressed people of Swaziland without fear of this brutal regime. There is Thulani Maseko (is himself out on bail on charges of sedition), Leo Gama, Mandla Mkhwanazi and Paul Shilubane. The regime has unashamedly run to South Africa, a democratic country, to seek legal assistance in its fight to sustain its injustices and oppression on the people of Swaziland. Whoever shall take this offer must be condemned and discouraged, for the rewards are no different from blood money!
Meanwhile a prayer service is being planned in Swaziland for the coming weekend in preparation fro the commencement of the trial. We are also encouraged by the planned protest action by COSATU for the release of Mario Masuku on 25 September. A lot of activities internationally are currently taking place where people are calling for the release of Comrade Mario and the introduction of multiparty democracy in Swaziland. The Swaziland Solidarity Network is one of such.
Comrade Mario is fine and ready for the road ahead. The family also remains strong and fully behind him for they know that this is not only about them, but the fight for the oppressed masses of Swaziland.
However, as usual, the state will be unleashing its brutal security apparatus to intimidate, harass and even assault people who will be attending the trial. But we shall remain resolute in support of our President and the fight for democracy in Swaziland.
National Head of Publicity Zakhele Mabuza +268 607 3453
Deputy President Sikhumbuzo Phakathi 0731427594
Secretary General Sphasha Dlamini +268 608 9783
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sept 7, 2009
The Planned COSATU Visit To Swaziland
As stated in our last statement, that because of the international campaigns meant to highlight the struggles of the poor and oppressed masses of our country, the international community is positively responding. As PUDEMO, we wish to welcome the decision by COSATU to send a strong delegation into Swaziland on 16 September.
Amongst other things is to visit the incarcerated PUDEMO President Mario Masuku. This is a huge step by COSATU and is an indication that they not only preach, but practice international solidarity wherever there is injustice. It is the very same action they undertook in the case of Zimbabwe where the opposition was being subjected to repression of untold proportions for daring to call for change and social justice.
This visit will be a truly enriching experience for COSATU. A lot is happening behind the ‘ Swaziland peaceful iron curtain.’ This is the land where people with dissenting voices:
- Have their houses and families constantly raided for unclear reasons.
- Are victimized in different forms.
- Are kidnapped and tortured at will by the security agents of the state who later will deny any responsibility because they are protected by the regime they serve to remain in power.
- Are constantly subjected to threats and fear with cruel and inhuman pieces of legislations.
- Have their families instructed how they must conduct funerals.
Surely the curtain is slowly lifting and the regime will be exposed for what it really is. We hope more of such will continue to happen for the international community has a huge role to play in assisting the people of Swaziland overcome the political crisis they are facing. In Zimbabwe and Madagascar , the international community intervened and now is Swaziland ’s turn, for the people urgently need democracy, peace and social justice! The regime cannot hide anymore with all the atrocities it is subjecting its people to.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
PUDEMO Press Release - 5 September 2009
1. The Global Week Campaign on Swaziland
The campaign has unfolded with a very high measure of success in highlighting the struggles of the poor and oppressed masses of our country led by The Swaziland United Democratic Front, labour organizations and international allies. We wish to salute our international friends for continuously extending their solidarity and realizing that Swaziland cannot remain and continue to be a threat to democracy in the SADC Region. We continue to maintain that Swaziland is in a huge political crisis and no amount of denial can resolve it. We believe the only way towards solving the crisis is to:
o Release PUDEMO President Mario Masuku and all other political prisoners currently out on bail.
o Allow the return of all political exiles unconditionally.
o Unban all political parties and a return to constitutional multiparty democracy.
o Repeal all unjust laws including Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008, the proposed Public Service Bill, etc.
o Allow the people of Swaziland to write their own constitution.
As a result of the campaign, we expect more and more true international friends of the struggling people of Swaziland to come into the country in the near future to assess the situation and take the message forward as opposed to the those who come in the name of ‘tourism, cultural experiences and diplomatic strengthening of relations’ when our people are oppressed and dying. No amount of “public relations” by the state will cover up the existing crisis.
2. The abduction of Wandile Dludlu
The President of PUDEMO Youth League (SWAYOCO) was yesterday kidnapped and brutalized by the state security agents. He was physically tortured and assaulted leaving needing urgent medical attention. What the state has done is not new. On a continuous basis members of PUDEMO has been raided and brutalized on the pretext that they had guns or knowledge to that effect. This is a hallmark of dictatorships and regimes that illegally ascended into power. They become so desperate that they use any available cruel strategy to silence dissenting voices and prolong their stay in power. We condemn this act by the state and its agencies. We therefore call upon the international community to apply more pressure on the status quo for the democratization of Swaziland that will come with the respect for human rights.
3. The Human Rights Commission
This is an exercise not worth commenting about. It is of no significance and is not in the interest of the oppressed masses of Swaziland . You only have to look at its composition and the backgrounds of the commissioners to realize that this is another grand scheme of issuing awards to loyal supporters of the status quo. After all no public institution will ever function to truly and honstly advance the lives and welfare of the ordinary people under the existing status quo.