Close to 2 000 workers celebrate May Day

By ZWELAKHE MOAHLOLI

Swazi News May 02,2009

MANZINI – Thousands of workers crammed the Salesian Sports Ground yesterday to celebrate May Day. May Day was started about 110 years.

The workers started flocking into the sports ground as early as 7:30am whilst vendors were there at about 6am to set-up their workstation.

Before the start of the programme, the mood was kept alive by entertainment from different groups such as People’s Educational Theatre (PET), Mafutseni Gospel Group and Emagawugawu. On arrival, most of the different workers’ organ-isations, toyi-toyied (danced) around the sports ground, carrying their respective banners.



Clenched


At about 11am, the workers with raised clenched fists sang a freedom anthem, Nkosi Sikelela i-Africa. Amongst the close to 2 000 workers were members of security forces stationed strategically among the crowd. Speeches started at about noon, with the Swaziland United Democratic Front taking the floor first, followed by Ngwane National Liberation Congress and the People United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO).

Workers were then given a chance to showcase their toyi-toying skills whilst singing political and anti-Tinkhundla songs.

More and more marches coming

MANZINI – More marches are on the cards for different issues affecting workers in the country. Most speakers at the May Day celebration concurred that in order to force government to heed their demands they should match.

The eviction of dwellers around Matsapha which was announced by Manzini Regional Administrator Prince Masitsela was classified as top priority.

SUDF’s President Barnes Dlamini said: “We will fight that people affected by the eviction must not be moved. The issue is not peculiar because even in the rural areas you find that there are Asians taking businesses that should be run by Swazis.” The NNLC President A.T Dlamini (not the former Prime Minister) also called for the release of Masuku.

Workers to visit Mario’s wife

MANZINI – Workers will sometime next week pay courtesy visit to incarcerated Mario Masuku’s wife.

This was disclosed by the President of the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) Barnes Dlamini when making his remarks during the workers’ day celebration.

Dlamini said as an organisation were saddened by Masuku’s arrest because there was no case against him. “To those who will not be able to accompany us, we ask that you make a small contribution. And to government, we are saying that Mario should be released. “If we do not do anything about this, the next day you will fall victim to this draconic law,” he said, much to the amusement of the crowd.

Dlamini added that a march to force government to release Masuku would soon be organised.

Masuku is currently behind bars for allegedly making seditious statements during a memorial service.