Ramaphosa and Mswati meeting paves way for national dialogue in eSwatini

Two men greeting each other

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa during a meeting with King Mswati III. File Photo: GCIS

Published Nov 3, 2021


PRETORIA – President Ramaphosa and King Mswati III have resolved that the Kingdom of eSwatini will embark on a process towards the establishment of a national dialogue forum.

The two leaders agreed that the SADC Secretariat would work closely with the government of eSwatini to draft terms of reference for that national dialogue forum, following a deepening political crisis amid frequent pro-democracy protests.

“These terms of reference will specify processes for the forum as well as the composition of the forum. The process towards the national dialogue will take into account and incorporate structures and processes enshrined in the constitution of the Kingdom of eSwatini, including the role of the parliament of the Kingdom, and the Sibaya convened by His Majesty King Mswati III,” acting Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale said.

“This preparatory process will take place during the coming three months, a period during which His Majesty will undertake his annual, mandatory Incwala ceremony.”

Seale said Ramaphosa and King Mswati III “were at one” in calling on all stakeholders among emaSwati to work together to end violence and conflict, and maintain peace and calm in the Kingdom, as work commences on the national dialogue process.

Ramaphosa, in his capacity as chair of the Southern African Development Community organ on politics, defence and security, undertook a one day working visit to the Kingdom of Eswatini.

The meeting with King Mswati III yesterday, follows a visit to the tiny kingdom by special envoys on 21 and 22 October, who had been directed to visit the nation by Ramaphosa in his capacity as chair of the SADC organ troika comprising Namibia, South Africa and Botswana.

Seale said during the high level meeting, Ramaphosa and King Mswati III held discussions on a broad range of matters relating to the political and security situation in the kingdom.

Yesterday, civil rights movement #NotInMyName welcomed Ramaphosa’s visit to eSwatini to engage King Mswati III, but called for candidness in the engagements.

Last week, #NotInMyName president Siyabulela Jentile and secretary-general Themba Masango led scores of activists in Pretoria, demanding action from the South African government – including closing the eSwatini High Commission.

Activists from different eSwatini pro-democracy organisations also joined the protest in Pretoria.