SWAZILAND’S WOES CONTINUE AS TRANSPORT
CONDUCTORS START THEIR OWN STRIKE
SSN –Statement 20th September, 2011
The symptoms that show Swaziland as a
completely failed state are there for all to see, although the people in power
prefer to ignore them.
Yesterday marked a turning point on the history of protests in the tiny kingdom as transport conductors fought against the police in a very violent protest.
The problem started when police arrested two transport conductors for carrying a passenger to Manzini. It is not immediately clear as to what their crime was in this act. What then transpired was that the two arrested conductors were told that they had to pay a staggering E6000 fine before they could be let released.
This infuriated the entire taxi conducting fraternity and led to a strike that was centred in Manzini. No bus or taxi was allowed to leave the bus rank by the uncompromising taxi conductors and this led to police being called to diffuse the situation. Being accustomed to getting their way by clubs and batons, the police beat the taxi drivers into ending the impasse, and that is when all hell broke loose.
Tires were burnt to create a barricade in the bus terminus as the unarmed transport conductors gave the police a sever thrashing. Being confronted with violence for the first time, the police fled the scene. This led to more people being involved as the entire Central Business District in the city came to a standstill, with police firing teargas canisters at innocent bystanders.
At the time of compiling this report, it is reported that one police officer has died in the scuffle and a transport operator is critically injured. The transport operators meanwhile have vowed that they will not end the strike until their colleagues have been released.
None of us are mere bystanders in this situation as it affects us all and no Swazi should allow Mswati’s brutal “Gestapo” to continue with its reign of terror on what started as a peaceful strike action, and may have simply ended as peacefully if it were not for their heavy handed tactics.
This is a clear sign that all Swazis are fed up with the Swazi government and everyone must join in the strike to end this failed state once and for all.
Issued By the Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN]
072 502 4141