King Mswati's soldiers brutally assault woman, terrorise people in rural areas, reports claim
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Cape Town – King Mswati’s soldiers have brutally assaulted a woman in eSwatini as she made her way to a protest on Friday, according to local media reports, while the military continue to terrorise those in rural areas amid a wave of pro-democracy protests that has rocked the country in recent weeks.
According to local media reports coming out of the kingdom, Swaziland News reported on Friday that Thobile Matsebula, an agriculture employee at Mhlume (RSCC) Sugar Mill was brutally assaulted by soldiers at Lonhlupheko in eastern eSwatini, whilst on her way to join a protest organised by the workers federation, Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (Tucoswa).
Swati’s have been protesting against King Mswati’s rule since June this year, calling for reforms and democracy rule in Africa’s last absolute monarchy.
The kingdom of eSwatini, formerly Swaziland, is engulfed in violent protests pushing for a democratic dispensation in the kingdom.
The protest started peacefully in the Manzini region on June 20 when young people took to the streets in a push for the right to choose a prime minister democratically as opposed to the prime minister being appointed by the king.
Meanwhile, speaking to the media on Wednesday, Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini said the role of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was to mediate not to lead a political dialogue.
This comes after various organisations rejected King Mswati’s call for dialogue earlier this week, manyc adding that the kingdom was not a dialogue-driven nation.
Dlamini added that there are misconceptions that the team from the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (Troika) that was in the country last week and in early July had a prescription for eSwatini, reported Swaziland News.
“We wish to state that SADC’s role is to mediate and offer advice but not to prescribe any direction for the country. Therefore, SADC or any international body, cannot lead the process of dialogue as it is a preserve for emaSwati as their constitutional right,” said the PM.
Furthermore, on Friday, the ministry of education and training in eSwatini released a parental consent form forcing parents to sign on behalf of their children that should schools reopen, they will not protest.
Local media reported that the new developments come in the midst of the political unrest after children in various schools across the country engaged in protests demanding democratic reforms and the release of the arrested pro-democracy Members of Parliament recently.