Killing of prominent pro-democracy activist sparked domestic and international outrage.
Unidentified gunman 21 Jan shot dead human rights lawyer and prominent pro-democracy activist Thulani Maseko at his house in Manzini region. South Africa-based opposition group Swaziland Solidarity Network 22 Jan blamed killing on King Mswati III’s regime. UN human rights chief Volker Türk 23 Jan condemned “cold-blooded killing” and called for “impartial and effective” investigation, while Southern African Development Community Organ Troika Chairperson Hage Geingob 25 Jan warned of looming civil war absent dialogue. Govt late Jan denied involvement in Maseko’s killing, said it launched investigation to find those responsible. Hundreds of pro-democracy activists 27 Jan reportedly marched to Manzini police headquarters demanding justice for Maseko; police reportedly opened fire and injured at least one demonstrator.
Swaziland has been an absolute monarchy for more than 30 years, with a royal leadership that ignores worsening social ills and a small elite that is often openly corrupt. A new constitution that further codifies broad royal powers and privileges is in the final stages of preparation.
Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.