14 March 2017

Southern Africa: Swazi Group Slams SADC Over 'Inaction, Failure' in 'Ensuring Democracy'

Photo: The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa
His Majesty King Mswati III (file photo).

A Swazi civil society group has criticised the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for its "inaction and failure in ensuring democracy" in the region.

Speaking during an interview with News24, Swaziland Solidarity Network spokesperson Lucky Lukhele claimed that the regional body was failing southern African citizens in its approach of tackling political problems.

Lukhele accused most of the SADC leaders of focusing on "protecting each other" than serving the citizens of the region.

"We continue to engage with SADC at various levels, but our regional leaders are failing our citizens because they mainly focus on protecting their boys' club. They have this tendency of acting in the interest of the leaders regardless of how those leaders treat their people.

"For example the regional body has not been supporting our efforts in bringing about democracy in Swaziland; it has also failed the people of Lesotho because of their slow intervention efforts.

'Rabidly intolerant regime'

"Even with Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila, the regional body has done absolutely nothing. That should tell you, this body is a boys' club aiming to secure each others interest. Some of these leaders have vast economic interest in these problematic countries," said Lukhele.

He said that the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) set up precedence for the southern African regional body when it dealt with The Gambia political crisis.

"They [SADC] should learn from Ecowas," said Lukhele.

This came just less than a week after the civil society groups demanded that Swaziland's absolute monarch repeal a 44 year decree banning political parties.

In a joint memorandum,the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), the National Health Education & Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN), said that the Tinkhundla Royal decree was "a complete disregard of the peoples will".

"After four decades of heinous attacks on the living conditions of the Swazi people, your rabidly intolerant regime is a dismal failure. It has sustained all its regressive policies that impoverish the people at the barrel of a gun," read part of the referendum.

Source: News 24


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