Thursday, September 18, 2008


Congress of South African Trade Unions

18 September 2008

COSATU condemns arrest of Swazi democrats

The Congress of South African Trade Unions strongly condemns the arrest of trade union and political leaders by the Swazi police and their heavy-handed tactics to stop today's pro-democracy border protests on the Swazi side. Those arrested include:

· Jan Sithole, General Secretary, Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions,

· Vincent Dlamini, SNACS, General Secretary,

· Mario Masuku, PUDEMO President,

· Jabulani Dlamini, Acting Deputy Secretary General, PUDEMO,

· Theodorah Malindzisa, Deputy General Secretary, Swaziland Federation of Labour

While we welcome the news that they have all been released relatively unharmed, COSATU nevertheless expresses its outrage at this blatant attack on human rights, which highlights precisely why the protests were necessary, against a regime which tramples on all acceptable standards of respect for basic human rights.

We congratulate the hundreds of protesters on the South African side of the border at Oshoek, from COSATU, YCL, ANC YL, SAYOCO and PUDEMO, who sent a message of international solidarity to the people of Swaziland on the eve of tomorrow's sham 'elections' which will change absolutely nothing and leave King Mswati III in absolute power.

COSATU calls yet again on the leaders of SADC ad the AU to condemn this regime which defies all the principles of respect for human rights and democracy which they are pledged to uphold.

COSATU will be fully supporting the demonstration against the sham elections in Pretoria tomorrow, the details of which are:

Date: 19 Sept 2008

Venue: Swazi Embassy, cnr 715 Government Avenue/Blackwood Street, Arcadia, Pretoria

For more information please contact Lucky Lukhele, SSN Spokesperson, on 072 502 4141

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)

Congress of South African Trade Unions

1-5 Leyds Cnr Biccard Streets

Braamfontein, 2017

P.O. Box 1019

Johannesburg, 2000


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