Public dialogue: Two Sides of the Same Coin: Political Activism in Lesotho and Swaziland

Posted on September 02, 2011

Both countries have experienced increasing political instability as a result of economic hardships and poor governance. Overwhelming economic dependence on South Africa, which gives Pretoria great leverage over Maseru and Mbabane cannot be discounted as a factor contributing to both stability and instability.

Whilst Lesotho has a vibrant multiparty political system, Swaziland’s political parties remain “banned”. In both countries powerful social movements, especially the trade union movement, are challenging the authority of the political elite. In the case of Swaziland this political activism is increasingly regionalised through, on the one hand, the support that Swazi activists enjoy from their counterparts in South Africa, especially COSATU; on the other, the support that the aristocracy enjoys from the SA government.

Indeed the challenges confronting the fragile politics of Lesotho and Swaziland also reflect the challenges confronting the southern African region as a whole. The direction in which these countries move may well reflect the future prospects of SADC.

Wednesday 14 September 2011
Time: 17h30 for 18h00

Venue: Conference Hall 100, University of Pretoria main campus (14H on the attached map of campus)
RSVP: Mrs Wilma Martin (012 420 2034 or [email protected]) on or before 12 September 2011

The book Against all Odds: Opposition political parties in southern Africa will be on sale at the event.


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