he state is, , not go­ing to lose any sleep over be­ing taken to court.” Th­ese were the ex­act words of Gov­ern­ment Spokesper­son Percy Sime­lane af­ter be­ing in­formed that pro­scribed and un­banned po­lit­i­cal par­ties last Satur­day re­solved to take the state to court to force it to al­low po­lit­i­cal par­ties free­dom of assem­bly. The po­lit­i­cal par­ties that re­solved to go to court were two banned po­lit­i­cal par­ties which are the Peo­ple’s United Demo­cratic Move­ment ( PUDEMO); t he S wazil a nd Demo­cratic Part y ( S WADEPA) a nd un­banned Ng­wane Na­tional Li be­rat ory Con­gress (NNLC). The res­o­lu­tion was reached last Satur­day dur­ing a his­tor­i­cal Troika Po­lit­i­cal Assem­bly at The Ge­orge Ho­tel

The gov­ern­ment mouth­piece added that the mat­ter that the po­lit­i­cal par­ties were fight­ing for has in the past been re­ported to many or­gan­i­sa­tions but the truth has al­ways stood its ground.

“We are sub­scrib­ing to a na­tional con­sti­tu­tion demo­crat­i­cally crafted and pre-tested be­fore be­ing put in ef­fect in 2005,” the mouth­piece added.

Sime­lane men­tioned that the con­sti­tu­tion of the coun­try has a Bill of Rights that em­braces po­lit­i­cal par­ties’ free­dom of as­so­ci­a­tion. He fur­ther stated that the man­ner elec­torate nom­i­nate and vote for their­rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Par­lia­ment was con­sti­tu­tional.

He said he doubted that there would be a court of law that would be ready to amend the con­sti­tu­tion as it was peo­ple driven. He noted that po­lit­i­cal par­ties would be ex­cis­ing their con­sti­tu­tional right by ap­proach­ing the court of law if they feel ag­grieved.

Dur­ing the his­tor­i­cal Troika Po­lit­i­cal Assem­bly, the three en­ti­ties re­solved to take gov­ern­ment head-on de­mand­ing to be de­clared le­git­i­mate.

Brief­ing this pub­li­ca­tion in a tele­phonic in­ter­view about the meet­ing was NNLC Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Tham­sanqa Hlatshwayo. He said the po­lit­i­cal par­ties de­lib­er­ated lengthily on the is­sue of no free­dom of assem­bly as gov­ern­ment de­clared the two to be ex­ist­ing il­le­gal in the coun­try.


He said it was for that rea­son that the Troika meet­ing voted to take gov­ern­ment to court. The po­lit­i­cal par­ties want to be recog­nised by the state so they can par­tic­i­pate on the forth­com­ing na­tional elec­tions as par­ties rather than in­di­vid­u­als.

“The chal­lenge is that we need to be­come a le­gal en­tity as per Sec­tion 25 of the coun­try’s con­sti­tu­tion,” Hlatshwayo said.

He said the com­rades viewed the meet­ing as his­tor­i­cal be­cause it was the first of its kind that th­ese banned po­lit­i­cal par­ties came to­gether un­der one roof to de­lib­er­ate on is­sues af­fect­ing their move­ments with­out a me­di­a­tor. The assem­bly re­solved to lead new the coun­try.

This means new ef­forts to force gov­ern­ment to recog­nise them would be done with­out the po­lit­i­cal par­ties link­ing and hid­ing their agen­das in civil ser­vants unions and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions (NGO).

He said by branch­ing away from civil ser­vants and NGOs was a sign that po­lit­i­cal par­ties were grow­ing and be­com­ing much stronger. He men­tioned that it was wrong of po­lit­i­cal par­ties to link their agen­das with the above stated en­ti­ties. strug­gles



“It was wrong to be­lieve that some­one who can’t push a man­i­festo can fight po­lit­i­cal is­sues. That was wrong in the be­gin­ning be­cause it also cre­ated some prob­lems,” Hlatshwayo ex­plained.

He pointed out that civil ser­vants and NGOs would be al­lowed to sup­port them in their po­lit­i­cal strug­gles. He noted that this strat­egy would also help to re­veal num­bers of those who are for the strug­gle.

The over 50 del­e­gates also re­solved to take gov­ern­ment to court as means of try­ing to force it to un­ban po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

They noted that this route will­not eas­ily yield good re­sults that is why they have in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal strate­gies they hope to im­ple­ment should the court process fail.

The in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal strate­gies would be dis­cussed dur­ing next month’s meet­ing.

Po­lit­i­cal par­ties re­mained banned in the coun­try by the 1973 De­cree.

The po­lit­i­cal par­ties want gov­ern­ment to al­low them par­tic­i­pate in na­tional elec­tions.

He noted that by ad­dress­ing the is­sue of free­dom of assem­bly, the other is­sues would be re­solved au­to­mat­i­cally. This in­cludes elec­toral is­sues.

“Go­ing for­ward, we are ex­pect­ing that we would utilise the court route to find out what can come out of it,” he ex­plained.

Also present in the meet­ing were civil ser­vants unions, NGOs and United States of Amer­ica rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Gov­ern­ment Spokesper­son Percy Sime­lane.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Swaziland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.