Swaziland: CPS blasts handing of activists' names to Mswati's cops
JOHANNESBURG, 23 May: The Communist Party of Swaziland has condemned the action by officials at the South African High Commission in Mbabane, Swaziland, for handing the names of eight CPS activists visiting the offices earlier this week to the Swazi security police.
The CPS activists had arranged with the HC to deliver a memorandum urging the mission to condemn the recent spate of arrests of pro-democracy activists in Swaziland.
But the names of the activists submitted to the HC in advance had been passed to the Swazi police, who were waiting when the delegation arrived at the mission.
"The police were plain-clothed, and they tried to intervene when our members approached the mission," says CPS general secretary Kenneth Kunene. "The delegation told the police that they did not have an appointment with them, but with the High Commissioner."
Kunene says that the police wanted to identify the delegation members against a list of names they had been given by someone at the HC.
"This was no ordinary security protocol," says Kunene. "It was an effort to intimidate our members and block their visit to the South African mission. They pounced on the delegation caused a massive commotion when our comrades refused to identify themselves to the officers."
Kunene says that the matter was only resolved when the South African High Commissioner personally intervened and ushered the delegation into his office.
"We applaud the speedy intervention of the SA head of mission."
Kunene added that there was clearly collusion between someone at the HC and the Swazi police concerning our delegation.
"We hope that in the current situation in Swaziland diplomatic missions who receive visits from the pro-democracy movement do not collude in this way with the Swazi police. Our country is ruled by a brutal dictatorship, and missions from democratic countries should try to protect pro-democracy activists."