Friday, March 20, 2009

Statement on the Victory by the Swaziland National Ex-Mineworkers Association

Statement on the Victory by the Swaziland National Ex-Mineworkers Association on Free Education in Swaziland

We have always maintained over the years that the Swazi royal regime lacks vision and its action are not people-centered.

We salute the great work done by the Swaziland National Ex-Mine Workers Association to expose the regime, most recently by influencing the High Court of Swaziland to rule in their favour and order the state to offer free primary education in the country. The regime has been refusing to oblige in this regard, in total defiance of what is provided in its own constitution. Their refusal was anchored in the argument that the regime does not have the resources, an argument that was reiterated by the King when he opened parliament last month. A great lie indeed!! We believe there is a lot of money in Swaziland, but the priorities of distribution are not people- centered. Not when the regime is ruthlessly and arrogantly splashing money to:

*Build palaces at the cost of over R 100 m.
*Pay the military (R 148m); the police (R 128m).
*Buy new cars for Cabinet Ministers at the cost of R20m.
*Buy two cars for an embassy at R 6m.
*Use R 43m to equip the security forces to fight and suppress the calls for multi-party democracy in the country.
[US$1=Rand 10]

The list is endless - all this at the expense of developing the country’s human resource.

The civil society is fully justified to challenge this. We implore it to continue challenging the regime on many other atrocious issues that it commits against the masses of this country. We also applaude the judiciary for standing firm, not be intimidated by the regime and correctly rule against it. However, we are waiting to see how the regime will react as it is known to defy court rulings with impunity.


Dep. President – Sikhumbuzo Phakathi 27-73-142-7594 (external)
Publicity Officer – Zakhele Mabuza – 268-607-3453 (internal)

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