STATE NOT BOTHERED BY POLITICAL PARTIES COURT RESOLUTION
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.