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