The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), South Africa’s third-largest political party, has held peaceful marches along the country’s borders with neighboring Eswatini in the KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces.
Tuesday’s actions, according to the EFF, were part of a new campaign to raise awareness about Eswatini’s “ongoing repression of pro-democracy movements.”
EFF spokesman Sinawo Tambo told newsmen; “We closed the borders to show [King] Mswati that borders are merely fences and that if the EFF and many South Africans resolve to pledge our concrete solidarity with the people of Eswatini, we would flood the borders which separate us and deliver freedom to our people.”
King Mswati III has ruled Eswatini, previously Swaziland, for 36 years, having risen to power at the age of 18 in 1986.
Following rumors that a 25-year-old law student, Thabani Nkomonye, had been assassinated by the kingdom’s police, the Southern African country has been plagued by civil unrest and violent rallies against its ruler since May 2021.
“We appreciate the solidarity shown by the EFF.
“It sends a strong message of our rejection of the current regime to the international community.
“The people of Swaziland can not breathe.
“We want accountability, we want the lives of our people to matter. We want the quality of life to increase for our people. Democracy is long overdue,” said Lungelo Dube, a human rights activist from Eswatini.
Since Nkomonye’s death, at least 1,000 pro-democracy demonstrators have been unfairly incarcerated, 80 have been murdered, and more than 200 have been hospitalized, according to an Amnesty International report from 2021.
The Economic Freedom Fighters is a South African left-wing to far-left pan-Africanist political party. It was founded by expelled former African National Congress Youth League President Julius Malema, and his allies, in 2013.
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