From the TUC

Get union leader out of Swazi jail: Take action today

17 Apr 2013, By

Jailed Swazi trade union leader Wonder Mkhonza

Jailed Swazi trade union leader Wonder Mkhonza

I wrote last week about the protests in Swaziland marking the 40th anniversary of Africa’s longest state of emergency. The Swazi security services sank to a new low, bursting in on a Catholic Church funeral because they suspected it was an illegal protest meeting and only leaving when the coffin actually arrived.

But they also arrested the organiser of one protest meeting, Wonder Mkhonza, Secretary General of the Swaziland Processing Allied Workers Union. His comrades are worried that he hasn’t been seen since he was detained on Friday. They say that the normal reason why lawyers and family members can’t visit people who’ve been seized is because they’re being tortured, and the police don’t want the evidence to be too obvious.

You can take action by signing an online petition to be sent to the Swazi Minister for Foreign Affairs, initiated by the National Union of Metalworkers in South Africa (NUMSA), Wonder’s sister union.

Wonder was arrested for allegedly being in possession of literature from the TUC’s sister organisation the Trades Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) which has been refsued recognition on spurious grounds, and pamphlets from the banned political party the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), of which he is National Organising Secretary.

It is believed that he is now in jail in Nhlangano in the South of Swaziland after he was transferred from Lavumisa – the small town near the South African border where he was arrested – on Saturday evening.

UPDATE 18/4/13: Wonder has now been officially charged with sedition, for possession of 5,000 political leaflets. His bail has been refused and a trial date set for 24 April. The petition for his freedom still stands, so please sign now and share it, ahead of his trial.

4 Responses to Get union leader out of Swazi jail: Take action today

  1. Eamon O’Connor
    Apr 17th 2013, 9:22 pm

    Release Wonder Mkhonza

  2. bernardoalayzamujica
    Apr 18th 2013, 12:06 am

    The Swazi security services sank to a new low, bursting in on a Catholic Church funeral because they suspected it was an illegal protest meeting and only leaving when the coffin actually arrived.

  3. js tlhagale
    Apr 18th 2013, 8:57 am

    Release comrade mkhonza

  4. Thandie F. Beames
    Apr 18th 2013, 3:48 pm

    The Swazis need to liberate themselves from the Swazi Royal
    infamity thats obtaining in the country.Risk is inherent as we drive that liberation agenda, hence we need all the solidarity we can lay our hands on.Swaziland police killed Sipho Jele in 2010 at May Day celebrations for solely wearing a t-shirt belonging to PUDEMO.We are worried for Wonder Mkhonza being in the hands of killer Swazi police.Lets jam the Foreign Minister’s desk with letters of protests towards attaining this noble cause.