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MBABANE – Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, Cyril Ramaphosa, has revealed that he will be sending a panel of elders to address the political situation in the country.

This, he disclosed during an interview with media personnel from his home country after the conclusion of the 42nd Ordinary Meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Governments Summit in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ramaphosa said His Majesty King Mswati III reported on some of the challenges the country was facing as well as the upheavals.


“SADC will take this firmly in hand and set up a fact-finding mission, and send a panel of elders to go and find effective ways of dealing with the situation, which could possibly be almost similar to what we have done in various other countries.  Many issues were discussed and a lot of important decisions were taken and there was very positive movement in all the issues, so it was a good summit,” said the chairperson and President of South Africa.

According to the SADC Secretariat, the recently appointed panel of elders includes former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who chairs the panel, and members in former Mauritian Vice President Paramasivum Vyapoory, former Zimbabwean Justice and Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa and former Botswana Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Charles Tibone. However, the panel is subject to change as Ramaphosa did not reveal the names of the elders specifically assigned for the fact-finding mission in the country.


The panel’s responsibility is to assist in promoting political and security stability in the region, through the prevention and resolution of significant inter-state and intra-State conflicts.Meanwhile, in a Communique of the 42nd Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government, on item 13, SADC said a brief report presented by the Government of Eswatini, regarding the security situation in the country, and while condemning the violence, it mandated the Chairperson of the Organ to convene an Extra-ordinary Summit of the Organ Troika plus Eswatini, at a date to be determined, aimed at finding a peaceful and lasting solution to the security challenges facing the country.

Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Newman Ntshangase, when reached for comment on the aforesaid matters, stated that the office had received the official communiqué from SADC. However, he elected not to comment on the chairperson of the SADC Organ on Defence, Security and Politics’ remarks on sending a fact-finding mission to the country, which the chairperson mentioned during an interview with South African media after the summit.


On Wednesday, social media was abuzz after members of the public on social media platform, Facebook, criticised SADC for not mentioning Eswatini in its addresses. However, it is worth noting that after a lengthy interval, the SADC members convened for a second session on the same day, where the Eswatini matter was then briefly brought on the table, as communicated in the SADC communiqué. Previously, South Africa Minister of International Relations Dr Naledi Pandor praised the envoys sent by SADC to Eswatini on a job well done, after previously criticising the SADC Troika fact-finding mission which initially visited the country right after the June/July 2021 unrest.

The minister stated that the envoys seemed to have had a successful visit to Eswatini and achieved the objective of meeting His Majesty the King.
“We hope the promise of a dialogue will be realised and that all the citizens and stakeholders of Eswatini will be given an opportunity to participate, so that the ground is established for open and democratic practice in Eswatini,” she said. Pandor had previously been very vocal about SADC’s involvement in the political crisis in Eswatini. In a previously reported interview with NewZroom Afrika, the minister made her views known, where she responded to questions related to the political situation in different countries in the African continent.

Pandor had just finished responding to questions on whether South Africa (SA) would host refugees who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover last month, when NewZroom Afrika’s Xolani Mngambi touched on the issue of the Troika fact-finding mission to Eswatini.Mngambi said the minister was part of the SADC delegation of ministers involved in the issue, but that there had been no feedback on the mission.


The news anchor asked the minister to state the position of SA in as far as issues of Eswatini were concerned. In response, Pandor said statements were issued by the Troika Organ and that she was part of the delegation but that the chair, which was Botswana at the time, issued statements on behalf of the delegation of ministers. “I was quite disappointed, we were on a fact-finding mission and what we found in Swaziland (Eswatini) was that our colleagues in government essentially wanted government to brief us when we wanted a wider set of briefing as we wished to speak to the broader stakeholder including non-government stakeholders,” she alleged.Elaborating, Pandor said they wanted the wider stakeholder base so that they could have a full understanding of the events that had unfolded.

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