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[ANALYSIS] What pro-democracy protests mean for eSwatini and for South Africa

1 July 2021 10:25 AM
Tags:
Swaziland
King Mswati III
Refilwe Moloto
eSwatini
Signal Risk
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
Menzi Ndhlovu

Refilwe Moloto interviews Menzi Ndhlovu, Senior Political and Country Analyst at Signal Risk.
  • The desire for democracy in eSwatini is nothing new, but this current wave of protests is the strongest push yet

  • King Mswati III has been in power for 35 years

  • Analysts expect him to hold on “by all means possible”


FILE: King Mswati III of eSwatini, at Loftus Stadium for the inauguration of Cyril Ramaphosa as the sixth democratically elected president. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

RELATED: eSwatini burning: 'Army goes house to house, dragging people out, shooting some'


Is this the eSwatini spring?

Refilwe Moloto, presenter - CapeTalk

eSwatini is Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

King Mswati III has been in power since 1986.

In 2009, Forbes magazine estimated his personal wealth at US$200 million.

According to the UN, 63% of Swazis live on less than $1.25 per day.

For people who know a bit about eSwatini, the pro-democracy protests that have led to a brutal military crackdown come as no surprise.

People are rising up against the political status quo that still sees political parties banned and sham elections held every five years.

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Menzi Ndhlovu, a Senior Political and Country Analyst at Johannesburg-based Signal Risk (scroll up to listen).

Ndhlovu discussed warning signs that emerged from eSwatini, what neighbouring African leaders must do, and what the protests – and the military crackdown – mean for the tiny kingdom and the region.

The desire for democracy in eSwatini is nothing new… The monarchy is seeking, by all means, to ride this out, and to prevent its toppling… This is the strongest push yet for reform…

Menzi Ndhlovu, Senior Political and Country Analyst - Signal Risk

Coronavirus has driven down revenues… It’s driven down export revenue… The monarchy is in a weaker position…

Menzi Ndhlovu, Senior Political and Country Analyst - Signal Risk

If worst comes to worst, they might cede to some kind of democratic reform by way of a Constitutional Monarchy… The monarchy will try to survive by all means possible.

Menzi Ndhlovu, Senior Political and Country Analyst - Signal Risk

I don’t see this destabilising the SADC region…

Menzi Ndhlovu, Senior Political and Country Analyst - Signal Risk

A lot of South African businesses operate in eSwatini…

Menzi Ndhlovu, Senior Political and Country Analyst - Signal Risk



1 July 2021 10:25 AM
Tags:
Swaziland
King Mswati III
Refilwe Moloto
eSwatini
Signal Risk
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
Menzi Ndhlovu

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