A senior executive at Oxfam South Africa Thembinkosi Dlamini says eSwatini’s King Mswati must urgently initiate dialogue with pro-democracy protesters to avoid a further deterioration of the situation in the country.

Schools have been closed indefinitely in the country.

Before the closure of schools, learners had boycotted lessons and called for free education as well as an end to the King’s rule.

On June 28, people died in some of the worst unrest in the country’s history during clashes with police when shops were looted, and business properties ransacked.

Dlamini says what is happening in eSwatini could have been avoided.

Action against the King

On Monday, The Swaziland Youth Congress (Swayoco) said it plans to intensify protest action against the Kingdom of Eswatini this week.

Swayoco’s Deputy President, Mbongeni Simelane says the closure of schools will give pupils enough time to take part in the planned protests.

Anger against King Mswati III has been building for years.

Campaigners say the 53-year-old King has consistently ignored calls for reforms that would nudge Eswatini, which changed its name from Swaziland in 2018, in the direction of democracy.

The King denies accusations of autocratic rule and of using public money to fund a lavish lifestyle in the impoverished nation that borders South Africa.

In the video below, Spokesperson of the pro-democracy Swaziland Solidarity Network Lucky Lukhele gives more details about the pro-democracy protests: 

-Additional reporting by Mthobisi Mkhaliphi