Suppression of Students’ Voices Continues in Swaziland as Police Crush Peaceful Protest

Communist Party of Swaziland

By Lwazi Maseko

Mbabane, 8 September 2022: – On Wednesday 7 September 2022, an armed police battalion violently crushed a peaceful protest action by students from the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) in the capital city, Mbabane.

The police had camped at the university premises following the students’ resolution to protest over various demands, including the demands for face-to-face learning and disbursement of students’ allowances as part of the right to free education campaign. Mswati, who rules Swaziland as an absolute monarch, in his desperation to cling to power, has vowed to violently crush all protests in the country.

A student at LUCT, Buhle Dlamini, said, “We found armed police officers around the university as early as around 8am. The private security guards, together with the armed police officers, closed the university’s main gate. They locked out those who wanted to enter, while locking in those who wanted to leave the university premises.”
Students on both sides of the gate demanded that the police open the gate.

“We waited impatiently by the gate until one police officer started issuing threats and arrogantly commanded that we leave the school gate immediately,” continued Buhle. After a few minutes, another group of armed police officers arrived to back up the first group who were already shivering in fear of the students’ anger. Police then started firing teargas towards students at the gate and those inside campus.

The police then targeted six members of the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) who were on their way back to their respective houses, accusing them of instigating the students’ protest. The police thereafter apprehended two CPS members and detained them at the Mbabane Police Station, releasing them at around 4:30 pm after intense interrogation.

CPS Member Mhlojobe Mtsetfwa who was part of the detained comrades said, “The police held us, assaulted us with batons and with the buts of their guns. We thus sustained injuries due to the police brutality.” The police later released them without charge.

Among the students’ demands was the call for the lifting of suspension for students who had been dragged through the university’s one-sided disciplinary process.

The students also demanded the appointment of a new director for the university. On this demand, one student who preferred to remain anonymous said, “Tfobile Gumedze, the current Director, has failed dismally, and she does not place the interests of the students as her top priority.”

Students have also complained about the inadequate security in the university campus. They thus demand the change of the private security company that is enjoying the tender to secure their campus.

Despite the attack by the police, the students remain upbeat about the struggle for freedom in Swaziland and have vowed to continue organising themselves and inspiring the nation in that regard.

The “Democracy Now” campaign, first launched by the CPS in 2019, continues to gain ground across the country as the people have become resolute in the demand for total freedom.

CPS PRESS SERVICES

Contacts:
Thokozane Kenneth Kunene
General Secretary
(+27)72 594 3971

Pius Vilakati
International Secretary
(+27)81 353 3383

Email: cpswa.org@gmail.com
Facebook: Communist Party Of Swaziland – CPS
Twitter: @CPSwaziland

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