Two weeks ago, the People’s United Democratic Movement (Pudemo) president Mario Masuku and Swaziland Youth Congress secretary-general Maxwell Dlamini were granted bail after spending over a year in prison awaiting trial on charges of terrorism, sedition and subversion. GREG NICOLSON speaks to Masuku about his time behind bars and the struggle for multi-party democracy in Swaziland.
Tell us a little bit about your release from prison, the charges against you, and the fight you’ve had against that system.
Since the 1980s I have been part of the people calling for a democratisation of Swaziland against the regime that does not recognise political parties. We have had people including myself being charged with high treason, sedition and so forth. Lately, in 2008, there was a law put into place called the Suppression of Terrorism Act. I was charged under that in 2008 and was acquitted in 2009. But this time in 2014 while I was addressing workers on May Day I was charged under the same Suppression of Terrorism Act and sedition activities.
I have been there for the past 14 months and released on the 14th. I knew that prison is not a five-star hotel, but prisons in…