EFF helps Swazis shut Mananga border with SA

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The Mananga border post to the Kingdom of Eswatini was shut down on Thursday morning after EFF members and Swazi nationals staying in the Nkomazi area of Mpumalanga decided to close it down.

The Mananga border post to the Kingdom of Eswatini was shut down on Thursday morning after EFF members and Swazi nationals staying in the Nkomazi area of Mpumalanga decided to close it down.

Traffic at the Matsamo border post was moving slowly as traffic towards SA has increased.

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Informal crossings in Mbuzini, Jeppes Reef and Mananga were also filled with Swazi nationals heading to SA.

“We decided to shut the Mananga border because we want the regime of King Mswati III to know that we want democracy. We are demanding the total unbanning of political parties, the release of Amos Mbedzi, a SA national who was arrested for his political activism. We are also demanding that the country hold free and fair elections and also allow the return of exiled politicians who are now living in SA, without any conditions,” said activist Jeff Hassan.

EFF leader in the Nkomazi area Doctor Khoza said they had no choice but to act because Eswatini was abusing its citizens.

“These borders will remain closed until Mswati understands that the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini have rights too. They shut down [mobile] networks so people could not access the outside world. We also want the country to allow the public to vote for a prime minister, not the way he (the king) does where he chooses a prime minister from his family,” said Khoza.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) in Mpumalanga has called for the total closure of borders from and to Eswatini today, saying they are “in solidarity” with the Swazi people.

“As Nehawu we are members of the ANC and affiliates of Cosatu, where in this alliance we agreed that the people of Eswatini deserve to be treated with respect and enjoy human rights… free political participation should take place in that country.

“We will stage pickets and close the border gates, which will be a way [to remind] everyone who does business with that country that they should take its people serious and advocate for their rights to be respected,” said Nehawu provincial secretary Welcome Mnisi.

Attempts to speak to the manager of the Mananga border gate proved fruitless as he refused to speak to this paper.

Sindi Dlamini, who was part of a large group of people crossing the Jeppes Reef informal crossing, said she decided to come and stay with relatives in SA after they felt that their lives were in danger.

“I stay in Mbabane, we had to run for our lives as soldiers and police staged a lockdown and people were not allowed outside their yards and shops were closed. Though we have passports we decided to use the informal crossings because we believe the kingdom’s security is not that strong at these places, as soldiers have been moved to the big cities,” said Dlamini.

– Sowetan


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