The current turn of events in Swaziland brings hope that political prisoners such as Amos Mbedzi could be released. Mbedzi is serving 85 years' imprisonment in Swaziland for allegedly trying to overthrow the Swazi government.

Unrest in eSwatini brings hope for Amos Mbedzi's release

 

The current situation in eSwatini (Swaziland) brings hope to the Mbedzi family of Makonde, north of Thohoyandou. For days, protesters have taken to the streets demanding reforms, a democratic government, and the release of all political prisoners in Africa’s last absolute monarchy. Mbedzi’s family is praying for the realisation of the demands of the people of eSwatini as this could lead to the release of their beloved family member, Amos Mbedzi, who is in prison in that country.

After spending six years in detention in Swaziland, Mbedzi was sentenced to 85 years’ imprisonment in 2008 by the Swaziland High Court for allegedly trying to overthrow the Swazi government.

Before his arrest in Swaziland, Amos was an employee of the then Limpopo Department of Local Government (now called Coghsta) and a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP). He underwent military training as a member of the Umkhonto we Sizwe, the ANC’s military wing. Over the years, several calls were made by various formations to the Swazi government to release Mbedzi, but the efforts have borne no fruit. All the formations claim that Amos was innocent. This was followed by the Release Amos Mbedzi Campaign, which is still actively pushing for his release.

Amos’s younger brother, Rudzani Mbedzi, said the current turn of events in Swaziland was their last hope for their family member to be released. He said the family sympathised with the Swazis who had lost their lives and those who had been injured or imprisoned during the demonstrations. “We heard that the situation is very bad there, but we believe that, at the end of the day, the will of the people will prevail. The struggle for liberation comes with many casualties, but we pray that the Swazi people should gain their victory as fast as possible. We are confident that they will win because history teaches us that a united voice is the only weapon that can liberate the oppressed.”

Rudzani said they were looking forward to the day when democracy was attained in Swaziland. “We have made several calls for my brother to be released, but they fell on deaf ears. Now that the Swazis have taken the struggle to another level, we have no doubt that we will soon welcome our brother back here at home.”

He said that since his brother’s imprisonment in Swaziland, many family members had passed on without Amos’s being able to attend the funerals. “The terrible and painful blow was when our mother passed on in January this year and Amos could not bury her. She died a heart-broken woman because she hoped that she would one day see her son before she passed on. This is our last hope that we will soon reunite with our brother because we trust that the Swazis will definitely win this war.”

 

 

 

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Date:10 July 2021 - By:

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