Call to boycott Swaziland bash

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Amid calls for a boycott of Swaziland's 40/40 celebrations, South African poet Zolani Mkiva has denied that he is among the artists scheduled to perform there tomorrow.

Swaziland will be celebrating King Mswati's 40th birthday and four decades of independence.

Mkiva, Benjamin Dube and Joyous Celebration are listed among the South African artists billed to perform at the jubilee.

But Mkiva denied he was scheduled to perform.

"I was outside the country and have just arrived back but I'm not scheduled to perform," he said.

"I did not even know about it."

The other South African artists were not available for comment.

Meanwhile, the Young Communist League (YCL) has called on South African artists to boycott "the celebrations in solidarity with the oppressed and struggling people of Swaziland".

YCL spokesman Castro Ngobese said artists, and music in particular, continue to be an important tool in the "many ongoing class and people's struggles to deepen democratic change, press for faster democratic reforms and inspire our people".

"Artists such as Brenda Fassie, Chicco Twala, Miriam Makeba and Mzwakhe Mbuli are part of the monument of artists who used their music as a contribution to the liberation and mobilisation of our people in our quest to dislodge the racist apartheid regime.

"It is appropriate in this context to remind the current generation of artists that they have a revolutionary duty to follow in the footsteps of these music soldiers in supporting the struggle of the people of Swaziland," said Ngobese.

He said they viewed the celebrations as "part of a looting spree and abuse of resources by the Tinkundla regime in the midst of squalor, poverty, and high HIV-Aids infection rates".