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Showing posts with label Dlamini Maxwell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dlamini Maxwell. Show all posts

Monday, 8 September 2014

MAXWELL FREED, MUSA FOUND GUILTY

Kenworthy News Media, 5 September 2014
According to the Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice and PUDEMO, Swaziland Youth Congress Secretary General Maxwell Dlamini has been acquitted of the 2011 charges of contravening Swaziland’s Explosives Act, writes Kenworthy News Media.

Maxwell Dlamini’s co-accused in the 2011 case, Musa Ngubeni, was found guilty on circumstantial evidence and will appear before the magistrate again on September 10.

Maxwell Dlamini is still charged under section 4 and 11 of the Suppression of Terrorism Act for criticising the Swazi regime on May Day 2014, where he could face 15 years in prison if convicted.

He is also charged with sedition and participating in an unlawful activity for allegedly organising and participating in a campaign that advocated the boycott of Swaziland’s 2013 elections, that the Commonwealth Observer Mission referred to as being “not credible”.

Maxwell Dlamini was tortured during questioning in 2011, a fact mentioned in Amnesty International’s 2012 annual report, and subsequently received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

See also

TERROR CHARGE FOR SHOUTING SLOGAN
DANES SUPPORT JAILED SWAZI ACTIVISTS

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

TERROR CHARGE FOR SHOUTING SLOGAN



Charged with terrorism for shouting ‘viva PUDEMO’

SOURCE Kenworthy News Media, 25 August 2014.

Swazi activists Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini face terrorism charges and could serve 15 years in prison for expressing support for pro-democracy party the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), writes Kenworthy News Media.

“If we have to go inside the prisons and be charged, I am the first one”. This was the prophetic statement of the Mario Masuku, the President of PUDEMO, on May Day in the tiny absolute monarchy of Swaziland.

Mario Masuku and youth leader Maxwell Dlamini, Mario Masuku were arrested shortly after having given speeches to approximately 7,000 people at the 2014 May Day event in Swaziland’s main commercial city, Manzini.

They were charged under section 4 and 11 of the Suppression of Terrorism Act, an act that Amnesty International has called “inherently repressive” and claims “continues to use the sweeping provisions of the 2008 Suppression of Terrorism Act to detain and charge political activists”. They could serve as long as 15 years in prison if convicted.

Mario Masuku had expressed support for his own organization, PUDEMO, and Maxwell Dlamini had shouted “viva PUDEMO” along with hundreds of others at the May Day event and allegedly sung a song that included the words “the king must go”.

The state prosecution has argued that these utterances are “very serious” and “threatening to the leadership of the country and the nation at large”. Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini for their part vigorously deny being terrorists or that their alleged offenses constitute acts of terrorism.

Both Masuku and Dlamini have been denied bail and are remanded in custody at Zakhele Remand Centre, where Mario Masuku has contracted pneumonia, which has exacerbated by his diabetic condition and led to drastic weight loss and poor eye sight. His legal team is filing a new bail application to try and ensure that he gets the proper medical attention that he has been refused in prison.

According to several members of the democratic movement in Swaziland both Masuku and Dlamini are also facing financial difficulties because of the legal costs of the trial. Their trial will continue in September.

They have both previously faced both harassment and lengthy spells in custody for similar charges from Swaziland’s police and legal system, none of which they have ever been convicted of. Maxwell Dlamini has given a vivid account of his torture at the hands of Swazi police in 2011 and was receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder before his arrest.

Swaziland is one of the most unequal countries in the world with nearly 70 per cent of its population living under the poverty line of US$1 a day. King Mswati III of Swaziland is ranked amongst the richest royals in the world.

See also

DEMOCRAT LEADER ‘CRITICALLY ILL’ IN JAIL

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

DANES SUPPORT JAILED SWAZI ACTIVISTS

Danish party supports Mario and Maxwell

 
Kenworthy News Media, 17 June, 2014 

Danish democratic socialist party, the Red-Green Alliance, on Monday (16 June 2014) sent a statement of support for two imprisoned democracy advocates to Swaziland’s government, writes Kenworthy News Media.

President of the pro-democracy party, the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Mario Masuku, and youth leader Maxwell were arrested on May Day, and subsequently charged with sedition – Masuku for expressing support for his own organization in a speech, Dlamini for allegedly shouting “viva PUDEMO”. They have been in prison since then, as they were denied bail.

Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini were remanded in custody until September 24, 2014 during yesterday’s court session, as their lawyer Leo Gama applied for a postponement of the case to enable the pair’s legal team to challenge the Suppression of Terrorism Act No.3 of 2008 that they are charged under.

Swaziland is in effect an absolute monarchy, although the country holds general elections. These elections were heavily criticized by the Commonwealth Observer Mission, who monitored last years’ election. Amongst other things because all parties are banned and the king chooses the Prime Minister, the government, a large proportion of the senators, and in effect wields a large influence over the election of MP’s through a chief-controlled system, as well as the legal system.

Over two thirds of the Swazi population survives on under a dollar a day, many on food aid from the United Nations.


Read the full statement below:

Statement of support in the trial of Swazi democracy advocates Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini
The Red-Green Alliance party, Denmark, 16. June 2014


Mario Masuku, President of the pro-democracy People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) in Swaziland, and PUDEMO youth league Secretary General and student leader, Maxwell Dlamini, were arrested and imprisoned on May Day. They have since have been charged with sedition, and for contravening the Swazi Suppression of Terrorism Act, for giving support to a “terrorist entity” – PUDEMO. They will appear in court today, 16. June.

Mario Masuku had delivered a speech to the Swazi trade union confederation TUCOSWA where he merely expressed support for his organization, PUDEMO. Maxwell Dlamini had allegedly sung a song that included the words “the king must go”, and both had allegedly shouted “viva PUDEMO” together with the thousands of others who had gathered to show their dissatisfaction with king Mswati III’s absolute monarchy, that has left two thirds of the population in absolute poverty whilst a small elite live in luxury. They have both been refused bail.

The Red-Green Alliance wishes to extend these two comrades our full and unequivocal support, and want to state clearly that we believe that such preposterous charges prove that the Swazi regime simply wishes to lock up anyone who questions its undemocratic rule, however peacefully.

Today, 38 years ago, thousands of students like Maxwell Dlamini, who were equally tired of being oppressed by an unjust and divisive political system, revolted in Soweto in apartheid-South Africa. They eventually prevailed, amongst other means by winning the support of the international community.

People in Swaziland are simply asking the Danish government, and other governments and NGO’s, to support Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini in their struggle for democracy and socio-economic justice.

The arrest of Masuku and Dlamini follows the arrests of, amongst others, PUDEMO’s Secretary General, Mlungisi Makhanya, who was arrested along with six other members of the organization for wearing a T-shirt with PUDEMO’s logo at a trial.

The arrests have been condemned by, amongst others, the South African trade union federation COSATU, in a press release that described Swaziland as “one big national prison”.
Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini have been arrested on questionable charges several times before, and Maxwell Dlamini claims to have been tortured by the police in 2011. He was receiving treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Signed
The Red-Green Alliance


The Red-Green Alliance is a democratic socialist party which aims to combine politics for social change with politics for solving the great environmental problems both on national and international level.

The Red-Green Alliance has, for several years now, been in a project partnership with PUDEMO that seeks to assist the organization in the achievement of its ultimate goal – achieving democracy and socio-economic justice for all Swazis.

Friday, 2 May 2014

DEMOCRACY LEADERS JAILED ON REMAND

Two of the Swaziland democracy leaders charged with sedition following May Day commemorations in the kingdom have been jailed on remand until 9 May 2014.

Mario Masuku, President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), and Maxwell Dlamini, Secretary-General of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), were accused of ‘uttering seditious statements’.

They appeared at Magistrates Court on Friday (2 May 2014) and were remanded in jail.

According to reports from the court published on social media, the two men face four separate charges arising from a single incident.

The two were arrested following a pro-democracy rally at the Salesian Sports Ground in Manzini, Swaziland’s main commercial city.

Local media reported that as many as 7,000 people joined the rallies in Swaziland to mark May Day, but some democracy leaders were prevented from attending by police.

The Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III, who is sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, reported, ‘Masuku was a hit among the workers yesterday. He was given a hero’s welcome when he arrived with political activists ignoring the programme and running all the way to the parking lot to welcome him.’

It added, ‘After Masuku’s speech, Maxwell sang a song which the political activists danced and toyi-toyied to. He was arrested for this song as the police termed it seditious.’

The Times of Swaziland, the only independent daily newspaper in the kingdom, reported PUDEMO’s Second Deputy Secretary-General, Mphandlana Shongwe and Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) Coordinator Wandile Dludlu were turned back by police officers and ordered not to set foot in Manzini.

It reported Shongwe was stopped by the police at Moneni where there was a roadblock and he ordered to return home. He was told he would be arrested if he went into the city.

The Times reported Shongwe said police told him he would experience what Sipho Jele experienced if he defied their orders. This was a reference to the death in custody four years ago of Jele, who was arrested on May Day 2010 for wearing a T-shirt supporting a pro-democracy political party.

The newspaper reported that Dludlu was stopped by the police near Bhunu Mall in Manzini while driving his vehicle. The newspaper reported him saying the police used violence against him.

He said, ‘They grabbed me and drove with me to Mbabane in a white Isuzu double-cab, where they dropped me off at my parental home in Msunduza,’

Swazi authorities have clamped down on dissent in the kingdom in recent months.

Seven democracy campaigners have been in jail on remand since last month accused of terrorist activities after they were arrested for wearing PUDEMO T-shirts and berets. PUDEMO has been banned in Swaziland as a ‘terrorist’ organisation since 2008, under the controversial Suppression of Terrorism Act.

Magazine editor Bheki Makhubu and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko are presently on trial in Swaziland charged with contempt after writing articles for the Nation, a small circulation magazine, that criticised the Swazi judiciary.

Last month, police illegally abducted prodemocracy leaders to prevent them addressing a meeting calling for freedom in Swaziland.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

MAY DAY LEADERS ARRESTED



Democracy leaders in Swaziland were arrested and charged with sedition on Thursday (1 May 2014) during May Day commemorations in the kingdom.
 
Mario Masuku, President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), the best-known of the opposition groups in Swaziland and Maxwell Dlamini, General-Secretary of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), were among pro-democracy campaigners charged.

They were arrested as part of a renewed clampdown against dissent in the kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
 
Seven democracy campaigners are in jail on remand since last month accused of terrorist activities after they were arrested for wearing PUDEMO T-shirts and berets. PUDEMO has been banned in Swaziland as a ‘terrorist’ organisation since 2008, under the controversial Suppression of Terrorism Act.

Magazine editor Bheki Makhubu and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko are presently on trial in Swaziland charged with contempt after writing articles for the Nation, a small circulation magazine, that criticised the Swazi judiciary.

Last month, illegally abducted prodemocracy leaders to prevent them addressing a meeting calling for freedom in Swaziland.
 
Thousands of workers turned out to mark May Day across Swaziland. Police were out in force in Manzini, the main commercial city in Swaziland, where a mass rally took place at the Salesian Sports Ground.
 
See also

‘T-SHIRT TERRORISTS’ STILL IN JAIL

POLICE ABDUCT DEMOCRACY LEADERS

Friday, 22 November 2013

STUDENTS WANT COURT TO VOID EXAMS

Students at the University of Swaziland (Uniswa) are to go to the High Court to get the examinations taking place this week declared void.

Armed police have been guarding examinations halls after students protested that the examinations should be postponed. 

Police also raided students’ dormitory rooms using teargas and arrested student leaders. Students report they were later beaten up at police stations.

Students have been protesting about slow payment of allowances and poor conditions at the university. Teaching was disrupted during the semester just ending and students say classes should have continued until courses were completed before exams took place.

Maxwell Dlamini, Presidents of the Uniswa Students representative Council, said, ‘We are preparing a mother of all court battles that will seek to render the examination null and void on the basis that they were held under an unconducive and unenabling environment and outside the rules and regulations governing examinations. 

‘Not only were students harassed, tortured, beaten, piled up at Block S [dormitories], but they were stopped from studying by police officers who kicked them out of their rooms and classes where they were studying. 

‘This led to students to be emotionally, psychologically, physically and physiologically traumatised.’

In an appeal to students published on Facebook, Dlamini said, ‘Students are urged to remain calm, cool and collected and must assist us with pictures and videos of what was happening before the exams to build a strong case. 

‘We also request students to open up cases of harassment against the cops to help strengthen our case.’
He added, ‘We will do all we can and possible to protect and promote the interests and rights of each and every students, hence we will make sure that even those who didn’t write the exams are given a chance to do so.’

See also

POLICE UNIVERSITY VIOLENCE WAS A ‘WAR’
STUDENTS UNDER SIEGE BY ARMED POLICE
STUDENTS FLEE ROOMS AS POLICE ATTACK

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

POLICE UNIVERSITY VIOLENCE WAS A ‘WAR’

A student leader in Swaziland has described police violence at the kingdom’s main university as a ‘war’.

Maxwell Dlamini, President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at the University of Swaziland (Uniswa), was commenting after police raided dormitories and dragged students from their rooms. Later they beat up the students at local police stations.

Students had wanted examinations due to start on Monday (18 November 2013) postponed. They said a long-running dispute between students and the university that had closed the campus earlier in the semester meant that teaching could not be completed before the exams started.

Armed police stood guard outside examination halls on Monday as the Uniswa Administration attempted to hold the exams.

Dlamini was reported in the students’ own on-line newspaper Uniswa Today saying, ‘The university together with the police who, instead of engaging us in a dialogue but resorted to bringing heavily armed police, actually raged the war.’

He added, ‘One must condemn the violence perpetrated by the university administration in collaboration with the police. If you do not want to engage in critical dialogue with the hope that you will use the police to silence people who want to raise issues, there is bound to be conflict.’

Dlamini said things would have turned out differently if the university had not brought in state security.

‘I do not want to believe that the students were perpetrating any violence. When you come into the institution of higher learning armed with [teargas] canisters it means you are preparing for war – you are actually instigating violence. I believe that had there been no police officers at the university things would have turned out very differently.’

See also

STUDENTS UNDER SIEGE BY ARMED POLICE
POLICE FLEE ROOMS AS POLICE ATTACK

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

AWARD FOR STUDENT ACTIVIST LEADER

Kenworthy News Media
September 3, 2013
Maxwell gets student activist award

Swazi activist and student leader, Maxwell Dlamini, has been given the All-Africa Students’ Union’s 2013 Student Activist Award, for  “the role he has played in Swazi and African students’ movements,” writes Kenworthy News Media. 

“The Union truly appreciates your many years of dedication and commitment to promoting students welfare and development. You truly epitomize the spirit of this award,” the All-Africa Students’ Union wrote in the awards letter sent to Maxwell.

“I feel humbled and honoured to receive such a prestigious award in recognition of our many years of dedication and commitment to promoting student’s welfare and development”, Maxwell Dlamini said in a statement.

“I dedicate this award to the ordinary students who have been denied scholarships, without decent jobs, without education and all those who have been injured, butchered, beaten, arrested, tortured and forced into exile while we were fighting for democracy and students rights. Our struggle is noble and will be victorious despite the setbacks. and brutal repression we receive from the state.”

There was a ceremony to go with the award in Accra, Ghana, on Monday, but Maxwell could not attend because the police have his passport as part of his strict bail terms.

Maxwell Dlamini was detained in 2011, together with fellow activist Musa Ngubeni, on charges of contravening Swaziland’s Explosives Act. Both Maxwell and Musa claim that they were tortured during their detainment in 2011. They were both released on bail in February 2012, although Maxwell was both arrested and released on bail yet again in 2013.

See also

UK SUPPORTS JAILED SWAZI ACTIVIST

Friday, 30 August 2013

COURT CASE AGAINST ACTIVISTS A ‘FARCE’



Kenworthy News Media, August 30, 2013.
Court case against Swazi activists is a farce

The court case of two political activists in the tiny absolute monarchy of Swaziland is getting increasingly farcical. Secretary General of youth league SWAYOCO, Maxwell Dlamini, and political activist Musa Ngubeni were arrested in 2011 on charges of contravening Swaziland’s Explosives Act, writes Kenworthy News Media.

One example of the farcical nature of the case is the alleged “evidence” of the explosives. First, one of the prosecution witnesses, whose testimony had contradicted that of two other witnesses, claimed that the explosives were too dangerous to bring to court. Then suddenly the explosives had apparently exploded after a South African bomb expert had allegedly tried to assemble it.

The defense attorney then requested to have the remnants of the alleged explosives presented in court, which the prosecution has failed to do. Instead, the prosecution wished to use undated photographs apparently taken by the South African bomb expert of what they claimed was the remnants of the explosives as evidence, which the court refused.

Generally, the court has failed to produce any evidence against Maxwell and Musa.

Both Maxwell and Musa claim that they have been tortured during their detainment in 2011, and the stiff bail of 50,000 Rand (the highest ever in Swazi legal history), the arduous bail conditions, and a seemingly endless court case is a commonly used way of trying to scare off other potential activists, according to the members of Swaziland’s democratic movement that I have spoken to.

The case will continue on October 3.

See also

UK SUPPORTS JAILED SWAZI ACTIVIST