Statement of the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) on attempts to undermine the democratic revolutionary course of Swaziland’s transition
Now that Swaziland is on the verge of far-reaching change, with the Tinkhundla system teetering on the brink of collapse, we are seeing a scramble by reactionary forces to try to take the initiative in the name of the pro-democracy movement and set the agenda for Swaziland’s future.
These forces, which have received backing from the US, via the Freedom House programmes, and from elements in South Africa’s elite circles, are attempting to manipulate certain sections of the pro-democracy movement by inviting a select few of their members to consultations. They then pretend that the main pro-democracy organisations and parties backed the outcomes of these consultations.
This was the case with the statement of the “Swaziland Mass Democratic Movement” issued on 24 June, which was not openly decided upon or given a mandate by most of the organisations that appear as signatories to the statement.
When we look at the content of the statement, we see that though it is dripping with worthy sentiment, and while it contains echoes of the demands that the CPS and others on the left in Swaziland have promoted, the purpose is to water down the call for revolutionary change in Swaziland.
The CPS has set out ideas on the basic content of this revolutionary transition. It envisages the convening of a Conference for a Democratic Swaziland at which all representatives of all pro-democracy forces are present, and that this includes strong representation of our urban and rural grassroots communities.
It also envisages the start of a nationwide dialogue to stimulate and nurture the involvement of the people – the majority of whom are the workers and the poor – in designing and participating in a new democratic path for our country. Unless there is the deep involvement of our communities in this process, the transition we seek will fall into the hands of party and movement gatekeepers and careerists and will have no real popular mandate. The people must govern!
We also envisage that this process, of which the Conference for a Democratic Swaziland would be the main engine, will result in the creation of an Interim Government. We have made clear that the work of this government, as set out by the Conference, must be first and foremost to address the economic catastrophe that faces our country and, in doing so, must prioritise emergency action on the worst aspects of the plight of our people – particularly in the areas of health, food and water security and livelihoods.
It is the view of the CPS that major steps must be taken to expropriate the resources currently wasted ruinously on and by the monarchy. All the wealth of enterprises wholly or part-owned by the monarchy must be used for the Emergency National Economic Plan that the Interim Government will have to implement. The state of crisis in Swaziland and the severe suffering of our people necessitate both wealth redistribution and cooperative building and state planning of a fundamental nature.
The democratic transition must be that of a republic and the current monarch and his household must become private citizens accountable to society and the republic in the same way that all other citizens will be. This is similar to the position of the Zulu King within South Africa’s republican constitution.
It is our view that these steps constitute the basic necessary framework for our country to move beyond the oppression and ruin imposed by the Mswati autocracy. These steps are not necessary because the CPS says they are. They are necessary because without them, or if they are not implemented fully, Swaziland’s transition will fail to be truly democratic and will fail to tackle the crisis affecting our people. Half measures will betray our people!
We should therefore be very wary of initiatives that embrace and support the feel-good and superficial aspects of democratic freedom but which carefully sidestep the imperatives of people’s hegemony over all aspects of governance and economic power.
The agenda of capitalist interests in Swaziland, South Africa and further away in the US and Europe is to rid Swaziland of its more embarrassing autocratic features while keeping the country safe for sweatshop labour exploitation, and private land use, mineral prospecting and tourism.
We must be under no illusions concerning the lengths capitalist/imperialist interests will go to in order to keep business as usual behind the mask of skin-deep democracy. We have only to look at the vicious assaults by capital on South Africa’s socialist-oriented efforts to see how such programmes are targeted, often under the guise of liberal democratic handwringing.
And so we now see that with Swaziland these same forces are flattering aspects of the pro-democracy movement (or are brazenly pretending to have the outright support of the movement) in order to set an agenda of transformation that does not seriously address the issues facing our people. The point is to eliminate Swaziland’s socialist forces (which are spread widely throughout the pro-democracy movement) and any hint of a socialist path – the only just and fair path – for our country.
We call on all in the pro-democracy movement to be acutely aware of both subtle and not so subtle attempts to derail Swaziland’s potential to create true democracy and true freedom for its people. We call for immediate steps within the movement to set the modalities and start to generate the content of the Conference for a Democratic Swaziland. This Conference must be a process that reaches every corner of our country and involves all our citizens as fully as possible. We need to act in unity to create the strongest possible surge toward democracy. And we need to isolate all attempts to water down our revolutionary goals.
Yes to Swaziland’s National Democratic Revolution!
No to pretend democracy to keep capitalism happy at the expense of the working class and poor! Yes to people’s power and socialism!
Forward to the Conference for a Democratic Swaziland Forward!
Mobile : +2772 594 3971
Mobile: +2774 922 8277
> nurture the involvement of the people - the majority of whom are the workers
> and the poor - in designing and participating in a new democratic path for
> our country. Unless there is the deep involvement of our communities in this
> process, the transition we seek will fall into the hands of party and
> movement gatekeepers and careerists and will have no real popular mandate.
> The people must govern!
> We also envisage that this process, of which the Conference for a Democratic
> Swaziland would be the main engine, will result in the creation of an
> Interim Government. We have made clear that the work of this government, as
> set out by the Conference, must be first and foremost to address the
> economic catastrophe that faces our country and, in doing so, must
> prioritise emergency action on the worst aspects of the plight of our people
> - particularly in the areas of health, food and water security and
> path - the only just and fair path - for our country.
> We call on all in the pro-democracy movement to be acutely aware of both
> subtle and not so subtle attempts to derail Swaziland's potential to create
> true democracy and true freedom for its people. We call for immediate steps
> within the movement to set the modalities and start to generate the content
> of the Conference for a Democratic Swaziland. This Conference must be a
> process that reaches every corner of our country and involves all our
> citizens as fully as possible. We need to act in unity to create the
> strongest possible surge toward democracy. And we need to isolate all
> attempts to water down our revolutionary goals.
> Yes to Swaziland's National Democratic Revolution!
> No to pretend democracy to keep capitalism happy at the expense of the
> working class and poor! Yes to people's power and socialism!
> Forward to the Conference for a Democratic Swaziland Forward!
> Kenneth Kunene
> General Secretary
> Mobile : +2772 594 3971
> Email: ken....@gmail.com
> Felix Mabaso
> International Organizer
> Mobile: +2774 922 8277
> Email: felix...@yahoo.com
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PUDEMO Celebrates 28 years of unbroken struggle
July 6th marks a very significant day in the political history and struggle of Swaziland. This is the day when the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) was formed.
Born of the genuine desire of the ordinary people of Swaziland to return the country to democratic rule, guided by the courageous and visionary pioneers of this glorious movement of the people, PUDEMO emerged as the lone voice to challenge the regime when it was unfashionable, dangerous and treasonous to question the authority of the ruling elite. It was therefore no surprise that in 1990 the leadership of PUDEMO was arrested by the regime and charged with treason for “conspiring to overthrow the government”; with cde Mario Masuku being accused number 1.
Over the years the movement has inspired thousands of our people to stand up and challenge the regime. The workers, the students, the churches, women and many other organisations are today able to face the tinkhundla regime because of the role that has been played by PUDEMO in demonstrating that the future of the country belongs to those who are prepared to fight for it. In this regard, PUDEMO salutes all those who have heeded the call for multiparty democracy and have taken to the streets to demand freedom.
This has not been easy: in the process many of our members have been arrested, tortured, exiled and even killed. Some have been evicted from their communities and displaced. But this has not deterred the movement from its historic task of uniting the people of Swaziland in the struggle for democracy. Today, despite the many attempt by the undemocratic state’s machinery to create a picture of a movement whose culture is embedded in terrorists tendencies and influenced by foreign elements; many people in our country believe and agree with us that the ideas we have propagated since July 6 1983 are correct and must be embraced. Our people have embraced the general principles for which the movement stands. In their own constituencies and in their own programmes they espouse the values, goals and objectives contained in the People’s Manifesto.
Without the courageous and resilient leaders who have led this movement in difficult times we would not be celebrating this day. Its time to celebrate yes; but the struggle is not yet over. The regime has plunged the country into deeper economic crisis, poverty continues to ravage our people, the education and health systems have collapsed, unemployment soaring and HIV AIDS eating up our beloved nation.
As an immediate response to this crisis, PUDEMO is putting in place Policy Alternatives for a Democratic Swaziland, as a new platform to rally our people towards a practical alternative that will guarantee the majority a better life. These policies will focus on clarifying our positions on key priority areas: economic planning and development, education and training, health and social welfare, rural development and agriculture, international relations and cooperation; and traditional affairs.
Without the support of our international friends, our movement would not be known today as it is in many countries of the world. We salute those internationalists who while they could have chosen to indulge in the enjoyment of their freedoms in their different countries; have taken it upon themselves to be with us in the trenches as we seek freedom for our people.
PUDEMO recommits itself to fighting side by side with all progressive forces of our country until our liberation is achieved. In this regard, PUDEMO calls for more unity in the trade union movement, civic organisations, the youth, church formations, business, the women and all strata of our society for all of us to be able to chart a common way forward to rescue our country out of the messy socio-political crisis that the tinkhundla regime has plunged the country into. In doing so we must always be guided by the core demands of our struggle underlined by the unbanning of political parties.
With the regime in the current crisis the international community must play its part in assisting the democratisation process by putting strict conditions to any assistance and bailout that is given to the regime. These conditions may include but not be limited to:
· Unbanning of political parties
· Convening of an all-inclusive and genuine National dialogue forum to discuss the modalities towards the ultimate drafting of the country’s democratic constitution
· Creation of an environment conducive to effective genuine negotiations through the removal of all laws that militate against free political activity, the rights to organise and associate on the basis of political views and interests. In this regard, the removal of the Suppression of terrorism Act and other such laws remain a major condition
· Independent judiciary and media
· End to royal extravagance, patronage and corruption, as well as the general abuse of state resources
· Unconditional return of all exiles and the full and effective participation of all the people in the process leading towards the putting in place of a new and democratic system in the country
These 28 years that have gone by have allowed the movement to learn, falter and grow. Through harsh experiences, painful and sometimes bleak moments the people’s movement has survived. All of us owe it to our heroes who have sacrificed their all to shape the movement we now call PUDEMO. All of us, all who love freedom and democracy, all who are genuine friends and allies of the people, must protect this movement from attacks aimed at destabilising it for it is only this movement that is the hope for our people. We have a duty to do this in honour of those on whose footsteps we walk; men and women who so loved our country so much so that they withstood all the harassment and laying down their lives for the cause.
In their honour we deep our banners…
Dominic Mngomezulu, David Mngomezulu, Dumsani “Shosholoza” Khoza, Malcolm Dlamini, Bonginhlanhla BG Gama, Africa Magongo, Mboniswa Simelane, Dr Gabriel Mkhumane, Percy Malinga, Benedict Tsabedze, Jerry Tsabedze, Bhutana Nkonde, Khanyisile Dlamini, Mandla Dlamini, Musa MJ Dlamini, Ncane Skhondze, Alex Nkambule, Pat Sigwane, Sipho ka-Gumede, Thobile Dlamini, Sipho Jele and many other sons and daughters of our country, gallant fighters of our people; heroes and heroines of the nation.
Through the years PUDEMO has learnt that the liberation struggle is not an event but a long journey that needs careful, patient engagements. Like a camel crossing the desert, PUDEMO is ready and willing to go all the distance. Emerging out of the 7th General Congress, this phase has been characterised as the time
“To build a national momentum in our advance to democracy”
And indeed this momentum is taking shape and in marching together in unity on this last mile to freedom, victory is certain and it wont be long-our country will be free!
Issued on behalf of PUDEMO NEC:
Contact: 073 506 1207
Why now cde Masilela? You are a member of the CPS at least on one
instance you posted some material from the CPS. You accuse the freedom
house yet you do not know what it stabds for.
The issue at hand is:" whether is it prudent for the CPS to attack the
Freedom House in a public forum like this one?". I call for restrain.
It is fine to engage on the political question "who are our friends?
But to ask this question in a public domain it not right. Cyril what
is the CPS, what is it struggle credential? You will shocked to find
the standing of some of its leaders in the movement. Yes, now you know
what iam talking about.
Wayforward: Stop the discussion in this forum and lets engage in
On 7/6/11, Dominic Tweedie <dominic...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Cde Lucky,
> I was not aware that we were in unity with *Freedom
> The Communist University *Blog* is at:
> *Mail Subscription*:
> CU Site for *downloads*: *https://sites.google.com/site/communistuniversity/
> The *CU Africa* blog is at: *http://cuafrica.blogspot.com/* (Subscribe
> The *SADTU* PolEd blog is: *http://sadtu-pol-ed.blogspot.com/* (Subscribe *
> here <http://groups.google.com/group/sadtu-political-education-forum>*)
> The *old CU site* is: http://amadlandawonye.wikispaces.com/
> Subscription/unsubscribing *difficulties*? Mail *dominic...@gmail.com*
thanks VC for your observations about me. Who will tell me how feudal
iam except you. I am really indebted to your wisdom.
Cathal Gilbert (Project Director Rule of Law Projects)
Office 5- 1st Floor - 82 House
8 Tyrwhitt Avenue - Rosebank - 2196
P.O Box 1218 -Parklands 2121
mobile: +27 82 557 3275
Tel: +27 11 447 7501/6972/7298
Fax: +27 11 447 7507
Accenture - South Africa
Freedom House is not a secret organisation. It is a public and
transparent institution with some US government funding and a liberal
democratic and human rights agenda. It is very easy to research such
matters. What you need to decide is: does your ideological rigidity
preclude you from working with such an institution? Is there any
advantage to you in doing so? Can you do so while maintaining your
integrity and keeping to your goals?
My position on such matters is, if you are clear about your goals, and
do not compromise your principles, then it can be advantageous to form
alliances or accept resources from such organisations. But this needs
to be transparent and decided upon on the basis of knowledge and
Blade (SG) once said adressing COSATU workers parliament that the
party welcomes all those elements that support the NDR even our own
bourgeoise who patrioctic but continue to say that the bourgeoise is
incapable of being trusted (this in not a verbatim quote). I believe
the same principle apply to Swazi struggle.
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!
Comrades my observation regarding the state of affairs within the democratic movement in swaziland is of serious concern. We have lived our youth within this movement and we have seen conflicts of watever nature or form getting resolved. My observstion in the last few years is the growing now widespread tendency by comrades to waste a lot of productive time accusing and fighting against each. Some of the causes of these quarels are known, but a majority are better known to them. Some of these quarrels have been elevated to serious destructive counter revolutionary squables and comrades have not spoke to each other for years.
In every little or big forumn where we could be discussing issues of serious importance, a lot of time is exhausted trying to resolve these non political counter revolutionary squables. A series of the movement's serious activities have been deliberately disrupted by comrades who claim to be fighting for swazilands liberation. New organisations and pressure groups are continoudly being formed either to allienate the other side or to satisfy their embarrasing quest for power and control.
These stupid squables are older than the Polokwane congress, some as old as 2000 or 2001. These comrades on either side are refusing to settle their unneccessary scuffles irrespective of numerous efforts by the movement to have them resolved. What they have been very gud at is gossiping, siezing progressive forumns and convert them to platforms of verbal abuse and insults against each other etc.
When you question all this, you sipmly become an ernemy. They have adopted a "you are either with us or against us" attitude. These are charecteristics of a very organisational indiscipline cadre.
Who ever these comrades are, they must know dat the ernemy is relaxing safely in lobamba, lozitha, mbabane etc. these fights are doing nothing less dan derailing the advancement of the struggle for the liberation of the people of swaziland. The real ernemy is not me or the other comrade, but those who have plundered the economy. This new widespread infisviplkne within the movement will not advance the objectives of the organisation in any way. It just hss to stop. We are sick and tired of yhis nonsese. AMANDLA
On 7 Jul 2011 20:54, "teresa debly" <tde...@yahoo.com> wrote:
ok Simphiwe this is the office address inJz but what has recently happened so that the attention is on them in relation to SD???.....or was the statement just speaking on anti-imperialist general terms and using them as example?specifically, what are they doing in SD right now or who are they supporting?
Subject: Re: [SSN Forum] Re: Statement of the Communist Party of Swaziland on the manipulating of S...
Freedom House Southern Africa
Cathal Gilbert (Project Director Rule of Law Projects)
NEW!!!! SSN FORUM IS ON FACEBOOK!!!!
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I think and I may be wrong that, this is imperative discussion organisations involve in the revolutionary struggle and any organisation that can advance any struggle without an alliance, that organisation will not successed, there can be no go alone.
1. The alliance policies and principles are very important to be cleared on for any organisation that has to/be engage/d in a revolutionary struggle,
2. The question arises, whom do you make alliance with as an organisation? and
3. What kind of alliance, for example, is it strategic or tactical alliance?
4. Is this alliance going to advance your struggle or not?
>>>To: sa-swaziland-sol...@googlegroups.comSent: Thursday, July