The violent protests that have racked Eswatini are expected to continue on Tuesday as calls for a new democratic government by local lobby groups gain ground.
On Monday, some government buildings and several trucks, including those from SA that were delivering goods to various towns, were set alight as the ongoing pro-democracy protests escalated after acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku issued a decree banning the delivery or handover of petitions to government officials and MPs.
On Monday night locals reported a heavy a police presence in the streets after the violent protests and arrests.
In a statement, the Communist Party of Swaziland criticised King Mswati’s “autocratic police” after they allegedly assaulted the party’s deputy general secretary Mxolisi Ngcamphalala on Saturday while on his way to attend a protest at Siphofaneni constituency in the Lubombo region. The party accused the local police of singling Ngcamphalala out from other taxi passengers, accusing him of taking photographs.
“In their attempt to block the masses from attending the protest action, Mswati’s police had staged a roadblock. Immediately after the police recognised the (party’s) leader, two plain-clothed police pounced on the taxi and ordered him to get off,” the party said.
“During the commotion, I was kicked all over the body, held by my genitals and bundled into a police van to Siphofaneni police station”, said Ngcamphalala. At the police station he was allegedly interrogated about why he was taking pictures.
“The interrogation and assault took about two hours, and then I was moved to Duze, a rural community near Siphofaneni town, where the police commanded me to remain there”, said Ngcamphalala. He later travelled to the nearest clinic, where he received medical attention.