8 November 2013

Swaziland/South Africa: Football Boycott Call Growing

The President of the South African Football Association Danny Jordaan has hinted he backs a call to cancel a match with Swaziland in protest against King Mswati III's undemocratic rule.

But, he said the friendly international between Swaziland and South Africa on 15 November 2013 would go ahead.

Jordaan was reacting to a demand by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) for the match to be cancelled. COSATU said it was in protest against King Mswati III's 'brutal monarchist dictatorship'.

COSATU said, 'This absolute monarch denies the people the most basic of democratic rights. He has banned political parties. He refuses to recognise the legitimate trade union organisation TUCOSWA. He uses force and fear to intimidate and subjugate the people of Swaziland.

'Meanwhile he continues to loot the state resources to feed himself and his rapacious criminal family, at a time when the Swaziland economy and its health system are collapsing and poverty levels have escalated.'

Reacting to COSATU, Jordaan told the Sowetan newspaper in South Africa, 'We share the Cosatu sentiment, we will organise a meeting with them but it is too late for the game to be called off.'

Meanwhile, support for the boycott is growing. Young Communist League of South Africa said in a statement, 'We as South Africans know precisely the relevance of this boycott because of the key role played by international solidarity in bringing down the system that was declared a crime against humanity in the form of apartheid.'

The Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) said in a statement,' Football and many other activities are promoted by the Royal Elite to give the impression that Swaziland is a 'normal' country. But this is not the truth. Swaziland is our continents last absolute dictatorship. Its people are denied, by force, the right to enjoy even the most basic of democratic rights. For these reasons, footballers cannot escape their responsibility to humanity, to the millions who love the beautiful game.'

It added, 'Whether soccer fans and players like it or not, the Mswati regime will benefit politically and financially if the match goes ahead.'

The People's United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) and the Swaziland Solidarity Network have already given support to the boycott.

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