18 September 2018

Communist Party of Swaziland commends worker militancy during national protest action declared by TUCOSWA, condemns police brutality

Tuesday 18 September 2018, marked the beginning of a rolling national protest action called by the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA). TUCOSWA is an umbrella body for the various unions organising in different sectors of Swaziland.

The protests took place in four different cities and towns from the four respective regions of Swaziland – Mbabane (the capital city of Swaziland in the Hhohho region), Manzini (the most populous city of Swaziland, under Manzini region), Nhlangano (in the Shiselweni region, south of Swaziland) and Siteki (in the Lubombo region, east of Swaziland).

Thousands filled the streets of Manzini City on Tuesday 18 September 2018 in a nationwide march called by TUCOSWA against the Mswati regime to call for salary increment and better working conditions

An estimated one hundred thousand (100 000) workers marched on the streets of Swaziland during the national protest action. By 16h00, Tuesday 18 September 2018, the confirmed number of workers who were injured either after receiving rubber bullet shots or after heavy assault by police batons stood at ten (10). This occurred in the march that was in Manzini.

A worker lies unconscious after attacks from the police of Swaziland during a peaceful march for salary increment and better working conditions. This was in Manzini.

One of the first victims of police brutality in Manzini. She was rushed to the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital in Manzini.

This worker was attacked by numerous police with batons in Manzini.

The Communist Party of Swaziland congratulates the workers, including their federation, TUCOSWA, for these historic marches. We view the attacks on the workers by Mswati’s police in Manzini as a clear sign of the brutality of the Mswati regime. Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, is desperate to keep the people of Swaziland suppressed, especially during the era of tinkhundla elections. The tinkhundla’s secondary elections are scheduled for Friday 21 September 2018. These sham elections are undemocratic and Mswati is trying to force the people to participate in them. Desperate to intimidate workers, he unleashed his police on unarmed peacefully marching workers in Manzini.

Early in the morning as workers were convening for the begging of the march

As the numbers started growing, the police realised that they could not contain this mass of militant and determined workers. They then started reinforcing and adding numbers on their side.

But the workers are undeterred. TUCOSWA has already issued an official communication that the marches will continue on Wednesday 19 September 2018.

Thousands in Siteki also came out to protest against the Mswati regim eon 18 September 2018

The Communist Party of Swaziland will continue to be part of the workers and contribute in whatever meaningful way possible.

The future belongs to the workers!

Democracy YES! Tinkhundla elections NO!

Below is the moment when Mswati's police attacked an unarmed worker in Manzini on Tuesday 18 September 2018.

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