NATIONAL NEWS - The ANC on Thursday called on Swaziland's government to create an open political environment and encourage constructive dialogue with the opposition.
"We call on the government to work towards the normalisation of the political environment," spokesman Ebrahim Ebrahim said in a statement.
"[Do this] by unbanning opposition political parties, releasing activists and engaging in dialogue with opposition political and trade union leaders," he said.
Mass demonstrations took place in the country recently, with residents demanding that King Mswati III allow multi-party democracy. The country was the last absolute monarchy in Africa.
Residents also protested against the monarch and his 13 wives' lavish lifestyle, in light of recent civil servant salary cuts. Protests had been largely violent, with police apparently using teargas, beatings and arrests to control crowds.
Ebrahim said the use of force to quell political dissent would only worsen relations between the government and civilians.
"In the interest of maintaining the much-needed stability within the Southern Africa Development Community, we strongly believe that the situation in Swaziland requires urgent attention."
Source : Sapa
Posted on: 16:34 Thu, 14 April 2011
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