Planned Swazi protest banned

The Swaziland government has banned the much-anticipated protest planned for April 12, claiming the protest organisers did not follow correct procedures.

Swazi Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini said on Thursday such protests need to have the government’s approval. “Government has now learned that the formations in question have not complied with the procedures and notices prescribed by the relevant legislation,” he said.

“This then renders the protest action illegal. We do not, therefore, expect any individual to participate in any such proposed protest action.”

Anyone who went ahead with the protests would be “dealt with in accordance with the laws of the country”, the prime minister’s statement said.

The Swazi foreign minister, Lutfo Dlamini, visited South Africa this week and downplayed the protest. “There is more talk about it here than in my country,” he said.

He discussed with International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane the economic problems facing the landlocked kingdom.

Lucky Lukhele of the Swaziland Solidarity Network said in a statement on Thursday that the government was scrambling to put its best foot forward with South Africa and the world to gain support and get rid of its economic woes.

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