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MANZINI – There are aspirations to have a new public holiday in recognition of the people who died during the political unrest which started on June 29, 2021.

This was one of the seven key outcomes and action points of the Boksburg Declaration. This declaration came forth in a retreat held in South Africa by local political parties, wherein they were strategising since Friday until yesterday (December 3 – 5, 2021).


The retreat was last week communicated by the Chairman of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF), Thulani Maseko, in a letter directed to the various political parties. In the letter, Maseko said the MSF, in collaboration with Letfu Sonkhe Institute for Strategic Thinking and Development (Letfu Sonkhe) would facilitate the retreat. A statement was yesterday released following the retreat and it was dubbed the Boksburg Declaration. This declaration pronounced that the political parties under the banner of Political Party Assembly (PPA) had resolved that June 29 should be a public holiday in recognition of the ultimate sacrifices made by the people during the period of the June massacre and the political unrest. It stated that all victims of the unrest shall be catered for by the peoples’ government.


Also, the entities agreed upon urgently embarking on a sustained campaign for the immediate release of the incarcerated Members of Parliament (MPs) Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube while also calling for the unconditional return of MP Mduduzi Simelane and all political exiles before the dialogue process commences. “We call on our people to immediately return to the battlefront and intensify the struggle for democracy and freedom - day and night until victory is attained recognising that what is not won in the battleground cannot be won at the dialogue table,” reads the statement in part. It was also agreed among the political parties that all progressive forces within the mass democratic movement should unify and keep their focus on the task at hand – liberation.

The leaders made a call for an immediate cessation of all counter conduct that sought to demobilise the urgent task for freedom. The public, in pursuit of political reforms, was called upon to ferociously defend their right to free association, assembly and expression in the pursuit of democracy and freedom.
Another conclusion taken was that the  military and all armed security forces be unconditionally withdrawn from the streets and end the atrocities and human rights violations while lastly a call for the constitution of a transitional authority to take care of the affairs of State while they worked towards a democratically elected peoples’ government.

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