Swaziland has been burning for almost a year as Swazis demonstrate against the rule of the Monarchy calling for the opening of democratic space in the Kingdom.
Police and soldiers had running battles with citizens who took their frustration to the streets against the polygamous King Mswati 111. Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa was compelled to intervene which resulted in a commitment to dialogue between the stakeholders involved. The world is wondering if this would mark the end of the only remaining absolute Monarchy.
South Africa Observer presents below the full statement by Ramaphosa over the impending dialogue:
STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SADC ORGAN ON POLITICS, DEFENCE AND SECURITY COOPERATION, HIS EXCELLENCY MATAMELA CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, REGARDING THE MISSION OF THE SPECIAL ENVOY TO THE KINGDOM OF ESWATINI
- Following the escalation of civil unrest in the Kingdom of Eswatini, as the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, I deployed, Mr Jeff Radebe former Minister in the President’s Office, as my Special Envoy supported by representatives of the Republics of Namibia, and Botswana as the In-coming and Out-going Chair of the Organ respectively, assisted by the SADC Secretariat, to Eswatini on 21-22 October 2021.
- The Special Envoy paid a courtesy call on His Majesty, King Mswati III. Subsequently, amongst others, the Special Envoy met with members of Cabinet led by the Honourable Cleopas Sipho Dlamini, the Prime Minister, members of the Diplomatic Corps, civil society organizations, Members of Parliament, trade unions and members of the all society in Eswatini.
- During the engagements, all stakeholders agreed that the conduct of national dialogue should be the appropriate platform to address the current challenges facing the country. In this regard, they recognised the need for a peaceful and conducive environment for the dialogue to take place.
- In view of the fact that His Majesty King Mswati III has accepted the need for national dialogue, as announced by the INDVUNA YELULUDZIDZINI, on His Majesty’s behalf, it is in this context and development that I appeal for calm, restraint, the respect for the rule of law and human rights on all sides to enable the process to commence.
- I wish to reaffirm SADC’s solidarity and support to the people and Government of Eswatini towards the achievement of practical and sustainable solutions to enable peace to prevail in the country.
H.E. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa
Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
22 OCTOBER 2021