26 April 2013

Swaziland: Now, Election Meetings Are 'Seditious'

Photo: Darron Raw
His Majesty, King Mswati III.

opinion

A youth leader in Swaziland has been charged with sedition because he allegedly tried to organise a meeting to discuss the forthcoming elections in the kingdom.

Maxwell Dlamini, the secretary general of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), is also a former student leader and presently studies at the University of Swaziland.

He is alleged to have been one of the organisers of a rally at the Msunduza Township on 19 April 2013 (the same day as birthday celebrations were taking place for King Mswati III elsewhere in the kingdom).

The rally was to discuss the national election that will take place in Swaziland this year at a date yet to be set by the king. Political parties are banned from taking part in the election and the rally was to bring attention to this.

SWAYOCO, which along with other political parties is banned in Swaziland, is also campaigning for people to boycott the election.

He appeared in court in Mbabane this week charged with breaking three sections of the Seditious and Subversive Activities Act of 1938.

According to local media, the charge sheet alleges that Dlamini wrongfully and unlawfully attempted to commit an act with seditious intention by participating in an unlawful demonstration held at Msunduza.

He is also charged with 'uttering words with a subversive intention' and with being in possession of a banner inscribed with seditious words without a lawful excuse.

Dlamini was the third member of SWAYOCO to be charged with sedition this week following the rally. The other two are Mfanawenkhosi Mntshali and Derick Nkambule.

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