The family of the South African Communist Party member and anti-apartheid activist, Amos Mbedzi, who spent 14 years in prison in Eswatini say he was abandoned by his comrades.
Mbedzi passed away last week at Polokwane Provincial Hospital after he was returned to South Africa by the Eswatini government in April. In September 2008 he was charged for contravening the country’s Terrorism Act and sentenced to 85 years after for his alleged involvement in a bomb explosion which claimed the lives of his two accomplices Musa “MJ” Dlamini and Jack Govender.
The government of Eswatini claimed that Mbedzi and the two deceased set up a bomb to blow up a bridge, after receiving information that King Mswati would be travelling on that bridge. According to the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS), however, when the Eswatini government failed to prove a case of terrorism against Mbedzi they arbitrarily changed his charge to that of murder for the deaths of his accomplices
The late activist’s funeral has been attended by political parties from Eswatini, Mozambique, South Sudan and Sudan.
In a media statement the CPS sent condolences to the family of Mbedzi and said “his family has endured years of suffering following the Mswati regime’s unjustified refusal to release him from jail even after Comrade Amos suffered from illness.”
The SACP also released a statement calling for justice for Comrade Amos Mbedzi and his comrades, as well as for all other unjustly incarcerated political prisoners and the people of Swaziland.
Family spokesperson, Rudzani Mbedzi says Amos Mbedzi was abandoned by his party which he served as a loyal cadre, and that the SACP failed to intervene in ensuring that he would come back home.