Mswati’s security forces harass family of transport workers’ leader

Communist Party of Swaziland

Thursday 29 December 2022: The Mswati regime’s police have been intimidating and harassing the family of Sticks Nkambule, the General Secretary of the Swaziland Transport, Communication and Allied Workers Union (SWATCAWU).

The transport union leader revealed this on Thursday 29 December 2022 during the CPS Annual Summer School held in Mpumalanga, South Africa where he delivered a message of support on behalf of the union.

The CPS Summer School is a ten-day activity held annually, proceeded by a Winter School, both of which are taken forward by study groups spread across the length and breadth of Swaziland and externally.

“As I was on my way here, I, together with other leaders of the union were being hunted down,” said SWATCAWU General Secretary.

“Mswati’s forces are harassing and intimidating us through our families. Mswati’s police have been harassing my family, hoping to halt me from continuing with fighting for workers’ rights”, he added.

The regime has intensified its union bashing agenda. Their latest stance is to attack union leaders personally.

The CPS on Saturday, 24 December 2022, reported how the President of the teachers’ union, Mbongwa Dlamini, has endured 3 months of non-payment for union work. Now the regime has added SWATCAWU’s General Secretary to this list of personal attacks.

“Comrades, the regime has now gone to individualise and personalise workers’ issues. You are aware of the court’s case by the government in which I have been cited in my personal capacity instead of the union,” explained SWATCAWU’s General Secretary, Sticks Nkambule.

Recently, Mswati’s government, in a bid to sow division within the union and isolate its leadership, moved a court case against the union’s General Secretary, but not in his official capacity, accusing him of being responsible for the national shutdown in the transport industry on 13-14 December 2022.

Mswati’s government also moved a criminal charge against the union leader for the union protest action where workers withdrew their labour for those two days (13 and 14 December) and brought the whole country to a halt.

Swaziland is ruled by an absolute monarch from 12 April 1973. The executive, legislature, and judiciary have no power as all their powers rest with the monarch.

The SWATCAWU General Secretary assured delegates at the CPS Summer School that, notwithstanding the attacks by the regime, he and the workers are not deterred in any way.

“Comrades, we made a deliberate decision to fully participate in this Summer School despite the harassment by the likes of Sihlongonyane,” Nkambule assured delegates.

CPS General Secretary, Thokozane Kunene, assured the SWATCAWU General Secretary of the CPS’s unwavering solidarity with him and other activists as well as the entire trade union movement in light of the regime’s attacks on unions.

“We pledge support to you pertaining the attacks to your family, as well as other activists,” said CPS General Secretary.

The CPS General Secretary made it clear that Communists can never remain neutral in such issues, including where there is a witch-hunt.

“We will dispatch our full strength and act accordingly in defence of the working class,” the CPS General Secretary assured him.


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