on Tuesday. During the Monday protests, the security forces shot,
arrested and tortured students who defended their right to education”, reads a statement by the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS).
Over 80 schools across Swaziland have been indefinitely shut down since the protests intensified in the last three weeks.
Among other incidents, the police today
invaded classrooms and assaulted students at John Wesley and Mater
Dolorosa schools in Mbabane.
Mswati, who rules Swaziland as Africa’s
last absolute monarch, has been deploying his military and police forces
to schools amidst political tumult intensified by students’ protests
On Monday 11 October 2021, students from
about 50 schools boycotted classes, demanding quality learning
equipment, free education along with the abolishing of school fees,
improved learning conditions including availability of teachers, release
of arrested students as well as justice for their peers who were
tortured from last week’s protests, release of all political prisoners,
and the removal of the tinkhundla system, among other demands.
About 10 students were abducted by the
police on Monday. They are feared to have been tortured as they were
targeted by the police with allegations that they were responsible for
inciting the protests.
The government claims that the students are being used, but the students are adamant that their demands are just.
“We independently resolved to protest as
our grievances have never been heard for a long time. It is a pity that
instead of resolving our issues, we are beaten, shot, and arrested by
police. It was the case even today as we had to escape as police were
shooting us,” said one student on Monday in a video interview posted on
Of note, these protests are a
progression of last week’s protests. They follow protests initiated by
the Swaziland National Union of Students, under the Democracy Now campaign.
Concomitantly, William Pitcher College
students in Manzini once again boycotted second semester examinations
still demanding their refunds, improved learning conditions, to name but
a few. Last week Tuesday when the students approached the college
administration requesting responses to their petition, the college
principal summoned police who then deployed a battalion of armed police
to intimidate and silence the students.
Yesterday (Monday) morning, police invaded the William Pitcher college, fired teargas canisters and live rounds on students.
The college’s Student Representative
Council President, Bheka Mabuza, said, “Instead of addressing students’
issues with the SRC, the principal now communicates with the police.
Just recently, she called the police who attacked students in their
dormitories. As a result, three students were critically injured. Today
she called the police again, who fired teargas and live ammunition in a
bid to silence the students.”
“But she should know that there is no
amount of intimidation that will ever silence the students unless their
demands are settled,” added Mabuza.
The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS)
calls for intensification of protests across the country for free
quality and relevant education, for the release of all political
prisoners, including the students who were recently arrested, and for
The CPS also calls for unity between primary and high school students with students from colleges and universities.
The CPS also calls upon the teachers’
union, the Swaziland National Association of Teachers, as well as its
members in the schools, to give solidarity to the students. Unity
between teachers and students is crucial in the final push for the
overthrow of the ruling autocracy, for the attainment of democracy.