REPORT- Swazi people ‘have endured years of suffering under King Mswati III,’

SWAZILAND- The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SNN) has criticised the Southern African Development Community (SADC) over its “inaction” on what it said was King Mswati III’s “human rights abuses”.

News24 is reporting that a interview conducted by the publication with SNN’s spokesperson, Lucky Lukhele said that SADC had “failed” the people of Swaziland, adding that they had “endured years of suffering under King Mswati III”.

Lukhele is also as quoted as saying the Swazi monarch was one of the “worst human rights violators”.

He said, “We have been trying to highlight the plight of the people of Swaziland, particularly to SADC. We are still waiting for a response. ”

His comments come after the country marked its 50 years of independence, celebrations that were reportedly marred by clashes between the police and protesters, who marched against worsening living conditions, according to an AFP report.

Police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd of more than 2 000 people who took part in the demonstrations, a rare protest organised by Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) in the administrative capital Mbabane.

AFP quoted regional media as saying that the Swaziland’s government purchased a fleet of luxury BMWs for the event, something that officials denied.

Lukhele further claimed that the government spent at least R3bn for the celebrations, which also included the king’s 50th birthday.

He added, “The Swazi government spent more than R3bn for these 50/50 celebrations,”

AFP quoted The Times of Swaziland daily newspaper as saying that that the country’s chief justice Bheki Maphalala had instructed judges to contribute at least $165 each towards the festivities.

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