2007 Swazi general strike

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The 2007 Swazi general strike has been ongoing since 25 July 2007, led by the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions, the Swaziland Federation of Labour and the Swaziland National Association of Teachers. They plan to stage a two-hour full stoppage of public life every month until the incumbent absolute monarch Mswati III gives in to their demands:[1] multi-party elections in October 2008, that benefits cease to be taxed and an end to absolute monarchy.[2]

The first two-day stoppage occurred on 25 July in Manzini and on 26 July in Mbabane,[3] when tens of thousands[4] of workers demonstrated on the streets. The demonstrations constituted Swaziland's biggest civil movement for over a decade, since the last large-scale protests in 1996.[4]

Government spokespersons denied the unions' and strikers' claims, stating that they should not demonstrate, but rather lobby the parliament, as only parliament has the power to change the constitution to allow multi-party elections.[5]

On 2 August 2007, union representatives threatened further strikes if the government was not willing to listen, and also raised labour issues in addition to their political demands.[6]


  1. ^ Mthethwa, Thulani (26 July 2007). "Swazis Strike for Democracy". Associated Press, republished on Forbes.com. Forbes.com LLC. Retrieved 2007-08-04. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Striking workers call for multi-party elections in Swaziland". Deutsche Presse-Agentur, republished on Monsters and Critics. Monsters and Critics.com, WotR Ltd. 26 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  3. ^ De Capua, Jose (26 July 2007). "Two Days of Pro-Democracy Demonstrations in Swaziland". Voice of America. Broadcasting Board of Governors. Retrieved 2007-08-04. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Swazi strikers gather in capital to push for multi-party democracy". Sapa-AFP, republished on Citizen.co.za. 26 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  5. ^ "Country King Faces Trouble Amid Protests Over Lack of Reforms". The Nation, republished on allAfrica.com. AllAfrica Global Media. 30 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  6. ^ Swazi unions threaten further action : Mail & Guardian Online Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.