…As SSN Accuses King Mswati of Thulani’s Assassination
By Christiana Onuoha
The largest umbrella body of trade unions in Africa, has vowed to unleash its powers against the killers of a renowned Eswatini human rights and pro-democracy activist, Comrade Thulani Maseko.
ITUC-Africa, a confederation of affiliated 101 trade union centres from 51countries of the continent, said it will leave no stone unturned in its resolve to ensure justice for the family of Comrade Thulani and other Swazi people who have been assassinated for demanding democratic rule in Swaziland.
ITUC-Africa Deputy General Secretary, Comrade Akhato Joel Odigie, who spoke to journalists Following the news of Comrade Thulani Maseko assassination, described late Thulani as a great committed human rights and pro-democracy activist in Eswatini.
Comrade Odigie further said Thulani was assassinated clearly by agents of the State who has been killing, attacking, harassing and intimidating lords of Swazi for simply demanding a genuine multi-party democracy in their country. “A lot of people have ran into exile but Thulani refused. He speaks truth to power.” He added.
Odigie went on to say; “African workers and global trade Union fraternity will not take this assassination likely. ITUC-Africa will do everything legitimately, organizationally, politically and administratively possible to get to the root of Thulani’s assassination.
“ITUC-Africa will do much more to ensure that the struggle the Swazi people, Thulani and many others were assassinated for will not go unavenged. Their cry for a just, peaceful and a multi democratic Eswatini, where human rights, justice, peace and progress is central must be realized.”
Meanwhike, the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN), has accused King Mswati of Eswatini, the head of the Swazi royal family as the man behind the assassination of Comrade Thulani Maseko.
The Network in a statement made available to International press, titled “King Mswati Brags About His Mercenaries, Hunan Rughts Lawyers is Executed”, stated; “ This killing of comrade Thulani, is the clearest indication of the lengths to which Mswati will go, to cling on to power. However, never in the history of mankind has a determined people been defeated, no matter how mighty the enemy they are fighting. King Mswati will not defeat the people of Swaziland, no matter how many he kills or exiles. He will fall.”The statement in full reads; “
The 21st of January 2023 will probably be remembered as the day in which the world finally turned its back on the king of Swaziland after he showed himself for the cruel bloodthirsty monster that he is.
“On this day, the world renowned Human Rights lawyer and activist, Thulani Rudolf Maseko, was assassinated by two gun-shots in his own home Ka Luhleko, an area very close to Mhlambanyatsi, the base of operations of king Mswati’s assassins, the Bastion Security company. This happened a few hours after Mswati had bragged about hiring mercenaries to defend himself against those opposed to his regime.
“Maseko spent his youth and adult life opposed to the oppressive royalist tinkhundla regime. In 2014 his deeply enlightening articles, published in a national magazine, landed him in jail for two years. His article had exposed the manner in which the judicial system was heavily skewed and politicised. His bravery and selflessness won him the coveted Southern Africa Shield award, which is an award that honours “exceptional individuals who have contributed to changes in their community by peacefully promoting and protecting human rights”.
“Following his release from prison, Maseko immersed himself into his passion, which was defending the rights of ordinary Swazis against the openly oppressive king Mswati regime. He was held in high esteem by his peers in the legal fraternity as a member of the Lawyers for Human Rights and the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network.
“Consequent to the bloody June 2021 unrest in which the Swazi state’s armed forces massacred over eighty unarmed Swazis, Maseko was elected to be the chairperson of the Multi Stakeholder Forum (MSF), a forum composed of various civic groups. He held this position until he was brutally executed on the very same day that the king had arrogantly proclaimed that he was indeed behind the executions of well know activists in the country via his hit squad of former Apartheid operatives.
“Let this tragic death of Maseko serve as a springboard for unity and a collective effort in the fight against this tyrant. Let it galvanize the entire Swazi nation into united and determined action against this oppressive tinkhundla regime and all its traditional structures which it uses to oppress them. Let Mswati not rest but feel the wrath of a united Mass Democratic Movement working hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder. Let the entire Swazi nation rise in unison and fight against this oppressive regime of Mswati.
“The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) mourns with the entire Swazi nation the tragic loss of this selfless defender of human rights and appeals to the entire world not to turn a blind eye to the plight of the people of Swaziland.
“Let the world help end their suffering at the hands of this psychopath masquerading as a monarch.”