The recently concluded Congress of COSATU among other things declared to the world that COSATU will campaign for PUDEMO to be recognised as the genuine representative of the oppressed people of Swaziland. Further, that PUDEMO must be given diplomatic status accorded all liberation movements in various countries. This is a bold and very revolutionary declaration. It comes at a time when the Swazi regime has labelled the people’s movement a terrorist organisation. The Swazi government has announced it will be taking the issue with the UN to have PUDEMO declared an international terrorist organisation.
This declaration and resolution by South African workers under the banner of COSATU is a clear indication that the world can not be fooled by Mswati regime anymore. It is an endorsement of our movement and the ideals we fight for. It is a victory for the people of Swaziland and it is an indication that the net is slowly closing in on the tinkhundla regime. We can only hope that it will be achieved.
As PUDEMO, for the past 26 years we have waged a struggle for justice, against royal exploitation, against poverty, nepotism and corruption; a struggle that few cared to notice. Through the years COSATU has been our most reliable ally. We will continue with more vigour, knowing that we are not alone. We are part of a global battalion of revolutionaries. We are members of the global community of patriots. This has been demonstrated in the campaign for the release of our president Mario Masuku, who got support from people across the world. His release was not due to the sympathy of Mswatis courts but the political pressure by PUDEMO and our allies in and outside the Swaziland was unbearable for the regime. Now that Mario has been released we will be pushing ahead with our demands:
- Unbanning of political parties and return of all exiles
- Scrapping of the terrorism act and the Public Service bill
- Release of all political prisoners, including South African national Amos Mbedzi who was also charged with terrorism
President Mario Masuku and PUDEMO as a whole congratulate the newly elected COSATU leadership and hope for even better working relations. PUDEMO thanks the workers and the people of South Africa and the world for the support they have shown. More needs to be done. We need to put more pressure on the regime, campaign for its isolation from international organs and sanction its leaders. Swaziland cannot be an island of oppression in a sea of democratic governance in the region.
We have only won one battle, the war has just begun. With all our friends and allies on our side victory is certain.
Zakhele Mabuza, Head of Publicity, PUDEMO
29 September 2009
This statement appears in COSATU Today (29 September 2009).