[Debate] (Fwd) Is Swazi loan a done deal?
dlaminitm at yahoo.ca
Sat Aug 27 13:19:20 BST 2011
Patrick, what's this "complicated politics"?
and what was it that you were thinking when you wrote about "militant civil servants" - what were/are the options you're alluding to?
--- On Fri, 8/12/11, Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za> wrote:
From: Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za>
Subject: [Debate] (Fwd) Is Swazi loan a done deal?
To: "DEBATE" <debate-list at fahamu.org>
Received: Friday, August 12, 2011, 3:05 AM
(Not if the article below is correct - still time for militant Swazi
civil servants to prevent Mswati from getting a bailout, but it'll
be complicated politics...)
-------- Original Message --------
[Swazi newsletter] Swaziland Newsletter
Thu, 11 Aug 2011 23:55:42 -0700 (PDT)
Richard Rooney <swazimedia at yahoo.com>
Richard Rooney <swazimedia at yahoo.com>
SAK <SAK-Swazinewsletter at yahoogroups.co.uk>
12 August 2011
News from and about
Swaziland, compiled by
Africa Contact (Denmark)
collaboration with Swazi Media Commentary (www.swazimedia.blogspot.com),
sent to all with an interest in Swaziland
- free of charge.
Thursday, 11 August
ANC LEADER CALLS FOR
New Age, South Africa
Mantashe calls for
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe might be the first
top leader of the
ruling party in South Africa to express a clear public
view on the seemingly
untouchable political situation in Swaziland.
He was quoted as saying our neighbour, the landlocked
kingdom, must allow
multi-party democracy or unban political parties. Could
pronouncement reflect the thinking within the top
echelons of the ANC or was
his a voice in the wilderness? The former must be true,
Holding a post that is traditionally highly regarded as
being an “engine” of
the movement for the power it carries, his could not be
just a lone voice.
Whether Mantashe was saying this as the ANC
secretary-general or was using his
position as chairperson of the SACP, whose position is
clear toward repression
in this, Africa’s only remaining absolute monarchy, I
have no idea.
Mantashe is most likely reflecting the inner thinking
and the fermenting
discourse at the top level of the ANC. Especially coming
on the heels of the controversial
R2.4bn loan by the South African government to
Swaziland, this strong statement
tells us the ANC would like to get value for the money
that went to Mbabane.
That value of the money (whether taken from taxpayers or
from the coffers of
Reserve Bank matters not) should be the ushering in of
democracy in Swaziland,
where political parties remain banned and political
activism restricted since
the reign of King Sobhuza II, the late father of King
The country is ruled by a no-party Tinkhundla royal
political system headed by
That senior leaders like Mantashe are now breaching the
diplomatic protocol of
not interfering in the internal affairs of another state
is indicative of
thinning patience by Luthuli House towards the political
The loan provides an excuse for some to come out of the
closet and express
their “rebel” viewpoints on the uncharted waters of the
It is important to note that the ANC was alone in
turning a blind eye to the
repression inflicted by the Mswati leadership in
Swaziland, as its alliance
partners, Cosatu and the SACP, long have taken an
unequivocal stand that
Swaziland must permit free political activism or must
face isolation by South
Africa, the SADC, African Union and the international
Our left-wing activists working alongside Swazi
activists in exile here staged
several border blockades in solidarity with the
oppressed Swazi masses, and
many Cosatu leaders were detained and deported and
declared as a nuisance and
interfering in that country’s internal affairs by the
Mswati regime in the
The situation in Swaziland is dire, make no mistake, but
the response of our
political fathers in SADC and AU has been muted, with
Mswati even being trusted
to lead the SADC troika on politics, defence and
Across that border, opponents of the regime are daily
apartheid-style arbitrary detentions, harassment,
deaths, arrests and torture of leaders who face trumped
particularly those from the People’s United Democratic
Movement (Pudemo), with
its president, Mario Masuku, going in and out of jail.
The president of the Swaziland Youth Congress, Bheki
Dlamini, is in jail while
many political activists and opposition members are
living in exile in South
Africa and other neighbouring countries.
Recently civil servants rose up to demand better wages
and free political
activity. Such pro-democracy protests often result in
repression by Swazi authorities against their organisers
If South Africa fails to act to normalise the situation
in Swaziland, we will
find ourselves with another Zimbabwe in our hands – a
never-ending exodus into
this country of illegal economic immigrants, the
majority of whom do not
benefit this country’s economy but become a burden to
its social security
system and job market.
Unless Pretoria acts on Swaziland and helps to free its
people from the yoke
Mswati perennially puts on their necks, we will be
forced to cough up more
money to bail out a failing economy and prop up an
oppressive regime next door.
While the conditions attached to the R2.4bn loan to
Swaziland are vague, with
only a call for “political reforms” there is hope that
influential voices are
emerging to speak out against the lack of democracy in
Luthuli House is better placed to influence the South
African government’s new
approach, which could help usher democracy in Swaziland.
We need to watch what Mantashe’s pronouncement on
Swaziland will precipitate in
the short to medium term. With any of our neighbouring
states unfree, we cannot
enjoy our hard-won freedom in South Africa.
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
MONEY CUT SO UNISWA
University of Swaziland (Uniswa) has closed indefinitely
because the Swazi
Government has run out of money.
has said it can only afford to award scholarships to a
maximum 500 students,
although the university has offered places to 2,155. In
recent years about
1,200 scholarships were awarded, according to figures
the Weekend Observer newspaper.
announced on Friday (5 August 2011) that it would not
open for the new academic
year as planned this week. Instead opening has been
until the government sorts out the scholarship issue.
understood that the Swazi Government will discuss the
closure at a cabinet
meeting today (9 August 2011).
unconfirmed report suggested that a major factor in
Uniswa’s decision not to
open was the fear that students would ‘riot’ as a
protest against scholarship
the number of scholarships available at Uniswa is to be
slashed comes months
after the Swazi Government awarded 800 scholarships
worth about E16 million
(US$2 million) a year for students to study at the
University that opened in Mbabane, Swaziland’s capital,
in May this year.
been criticised across Africa for the poor quality
of its courses and
staff and has been subjected to numerous protests by its
value for money in their education.
UNIVERSITIES LACK RELEVANCE
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
DOUBTS OVER SWAZI LOAN
South Africa has pledged to give Swaziland a loan of up
to R2.4 billion (US$354
million) will King Mswati III’s kingdom, actually
receive the money?
made its loan
announcement on 3 August 2011, the South African
Treasury said was a
‘conditional guarantee’ only.
conditions were that Swaziland meets the technical and
fiscal reforms required
by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
we all know, Swaziland has failed to meet the IMF
requirements. Simply put, the
IMF wants to see an increase in government revenue
(through taxes, mainly) and
a decrease in public spending (by reducing the salary
bill for public service
Government, handpicked by King Mswati, sub-Saharan
Africa’s last absolute
monarch, failed to make much headway in either of these.
Public sector workers,
most notably the teachers, have had a series of work
stoppages against the
proposed measures and are threatening all-out protests
if their salaries are
cut, or if teachers are retrenched.
because of the government’s failure to control income
and expenditure that the
IMF did not issue its so-called ‘letter of comfort’ that
would have supported
Swaziland’s bid to get a loan from the African
Development Bank (AfDB).
because it was unable to secure the AfDB loan, the Swazi
begging to South Africa.
South African Treasury has stated it will grant a R2.4
billion loan in three
stages, starting this month (August 2011) once ‘the
negotiations with the
relevant parties have been finalised’.
surely means, once South Africa is satisfied that
Swaziland has got control of
its finances. But, as things stand, with no agreement on
salary cuts, that
control is not there.
happens next? If, as seems likely, the Swazi Government
fails to get an
immediate agreement on cuts, it will not have met a
major requirement for the
loan. South Africa will then have to decide whether to
grant the loan anyway.
There are growing fears in South Africa that unless
something is done about
Swaziland without delay it will become an economic
basket case like Zimbabwe and
will be a massive drain on the whole Southern Africa
of that the loan may be given even without the cuts. But
it will only delay by
a few months the meltdown of the Swazi economy. The loan
of R2.4 billion is
roughly the equivalent of five months government
spending in Swaziland. Chicken
the list of fiscal measures the South African Government
wants to see Swaziland
make. Decide for yourself whether you think King
Mswati’s boys will be able to
parliament the Public Finance Management Bill by October
the Fiscal Adjustments Roadmap [the plan Swaziland gave
to the IMF to save the
economy] by February 2012;
the peg between the lilangeni and rand;
priority spending programmes as contained in the Staff
Monitored Programme that
was agreed between the Government of the Kingdom of
Swaziland and the
International Monitory Fund; and
acceptable financial reporting and finalise and
implement an auditing bill.
SETS OUT LOAN CONDITIONS
Monday, 8 August 2011
FREE SWAZI POLITICAL
THE BREAK CHAINS
Campaign for the
release of all
political prisoners and detainees in Swaziland
Release all political
in Swaziland now!
Tinkhundla regime of king Mswati III currently holds
prisoners/detainees. These courageous freedom fighters
are imprisoned by the
regime simply because they have been part of the
struggle for democracy, human
rights and social and economic progress for the people
of Swaziland. We demand
their unconditional release and that this is a step
toward the unbanning of all
political parties and organisations and safe return of
CHAINS demands the release of:
Mbedze - A South African, member of the ANC, SACP,
Umkhonto Wesizwe) arrested
in 2008, denied bail; still on trial since 2010.
Dlamini - SWAYOCO PRESIDENT: arrested in 2010, denied
bail, no trial.
Dlamini - SWAYOCO LEADER: arrested in 2010; denied bail,
no trial since
Maxwell Dlamini - SNUS PRESIDENT: arrested in 2011;
denied bail, no trial since
Ngubeni – FORMER STUDENT LEADER: arrested in April 2011,
denied bailed, no
trial since arrest.
activists and leaders have been routinely tortured and
denied access to family
and friends. Their health is deteriorating each day and
they are denied proper
medical assistance. They are held on trumped up charges
because the regime
considers their activism for democracy and freedom a
danger to Mswati’s rule.
The rule of law protects only the select few in
Swaziland. Our comrades held
prisoner by the regime have no rights.
THE CHAINS campaign calls for the unconditional release
of all political
prisoners in Swaziland and for concerted action to
prevent the incarceration of
more detainees as the struggle for democracy and freedom
regime denies that it has political prisoners. It also
denies that there are
Swazi political exiles living outside the country. The
regime lies continuously
and blatantly in an effort to appear reasonable and
fair. But the regime
presides over the constant oppression of the Swazi
people though enforced
poverty and degradation and the denial of democratic,
social and economic
rights. Those who have campaigned against this vile
injustice are persecuted by
the Mswati regime.
CHAINS calls on all progressive organisations and
individuals in Swaziland and
beyond to add their voice to the demand the release of
be a first step to the unbanning of all organizations
and parties in Swaziland
and firm guarantees on the right of the people to free
assembly, and the
guaranteed safe return of exiles.
BREAK THE CHAINS
demands to the Swazi government and the king calling for
the immediate release
of Amos Mbedze, Bheki Dlamini, Zonke Dlamini, Maxwell
Dlamini and Musa Ngubeni.
awareness on the issue of Swaziland’s political
prisoners by spreading news of
the campaign for their release.
issue in your community, trade union branch, Church
group, and among your
neighbours and friends.
are outside Swaziland:
calls to Swazi diplomatic missions for the release of
the boycott of Swaziland by the government of the
country in which you reside
until all political prisoners are released.
organisation / political party to join the campaign
THE CHAINS campaign is being run by the Communist Party
of Swaziland as an open
campaign forum that all organisations and individuals
are invited to join
regardless of their political affiliation.
DLAMINI ‘SUFFERS STROKE’
Sunday, 7 August 2011
SWAZI KING 'MAKE CHANGES'
European Union (EU) has told Swaziland’s King Mswati III
he should take the
lead in moving the kingdom to democracy.
delegation in Swaziland has backed the Phadimisa
Bokamoso ba Africa- led
campaign for full democracy in the kingdom, ruled by
King Mswati, sub-Saharan
Africa’s last absolute monarch.
three-day convention on democracy held in
Swaziland last weekend (29 – 31
Traoré, EU Chargé d’Affaires to Swaziland, said EU fully
supported the process
that led to political talks on Swaziland facilitated by
Phadimisa Bokamoso ba
said the EU delegation would take civil society
organisations’ demand for
dialogue, as requested, to the Swazi Government.
these discussions you are calling for on the future of
your country must be an
only Swazi affair. It is not for any foreign individual
or organisation to
interfere in this process.
is your country; the EU cannot and will not do the work
for you or in your
place,’ the Times
of Swaziland reported him
said civil society organisations needed to convince
their authorities the time
for building a new Swaziland had indeed come. He said
the advances contained in
the Constitution on the freedom of association and the
bill of rights, just to
name a few provisions, should be fully implemented, the
more importantly you also need to convince your fellow
citizens that this is
the only way forward in a rapidly changing continent
where people from Morocco
to Egypt and youths from Senegal to Malawi are taking to
the streets to defend
their democratic rights to have more say in the running
of their countries,’ he
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News from and about
Swaziland, compiled by Africa Contact (Denmark) in
collaboration with Swazi Media Commentary
(www.swazimedia.blogspot.com), and sent to all with an
interest in Swaziland - free of charge.
More on Africa Contacts work on Swaziland at www.afrika.dk.
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