The Southern African Rural Women’s Assembly is calling for a speedy and independent investigation to bring to justice to all the cowards complicit in the murder of human rights lawyer and activist, Thulani Maseko. Maseko was assassinated on Sunday 22 January 2023 at his home in Swaziland, in front of his wife and children. Maseko’s family and the people of Swaziland have been robbed of a man of great courage, integrity and compassion who was selflessly fighting for democratic reform.

The Rural Women’s Assembly is calling on the SADC and African Union to oversee the investigation into Maseko’s murder and hold Swaziland authorities to account for the ongoing political unrest, violence and murder of pro-democracy activists.
Maseko’s assassination is a shameful stain in the struggle for democracy and freedom in the Southern African region. He selflessly sacrificed his life to defend the universal principles of freedom, justice, rule of law and human rights. His murder forms part of a pattern of brutal violence in Swaziland against activists which escalated since the 2021 pro-democracy protests.

The Rural Women’s Assembly is standing in solidarity with pro-democracy and human rights defenders who are calling for:

  • An independent and neutral body to swiftly investigate Maseko’s murder;
  • Open dialogue to uproot the causes of political killings in Swaziland;
  • Targeted sanctions against individuals of the Swaziland State and isolation of the State until it respects the human rights of its people;
  • Any mercenaries currently in Swaziland to immediately leave the country;
  • An end to all violent rhetoric targeting pro-democracy activists and human rights defenders;
  • Support for the Maseko family and all Swazis currently faced with trauma as a result of the political unrest.

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