The ticking time bomb of Swaziland

Terry Bell Writes

(originally published on April 15 on the Fin24 platform)

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), campaigning groups and labour supporting members of the European parliament this month launched protests about the continued harassment and jailing of trade unionists and democracy campaigners in Swaziland. ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow has noted that, in Swaziland, “Violations against the fundamental rights of workers have become systemic.”

But apart from a few verbal sallies from non-governmental groups, there has been silence from South Africa. And this should be deeply worrying to those who are concerned about deepening democracy on the continent and in ensuring that a wealthy, often corrupt — if not entirely melanin deficient — elite do not continue to dominate.

South Africa’s govrnment-allied and major trade union federation, Cosatu, embroiled in its destructive feuding, has been fairly quiet on this issue for some time. But, over the past decade or so, the…

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