Swazi police video recorded Saturday’s People’s Dialogue to collect evidence to use against speakers for promoting ‘terrorism’.
This emerged yesterday (20 July 2009) at a court case where one man was charged under the Suppression of Terrorism Act (STA) for shouting the words ‘Viva PUDEMO’ and another was charged with wearing a T-shirt in support of PUDEMO.
PUDEMO – the People’s United Democratic Movement – is banned, along with all other political parties, in Swaziland. Conviction under the STA can result in up to 25 years jail time.
Mbabane High Court was told that the Swazi police revealed that a police officer recorded all the activities during the People’s Dialogue in a video that will be produced in court as evidence.
According to the charge sheet it is alleged that Mphandlana Shongwe, ‘on 18 July 2009, unlawfully and knowingly gave support to terrorist groups (viz) PUDEMO and SWAYOCO by uttering the words ‘Viva PUDEMO, Viva SWAYOCO’ while Norman Xaba is alleged to have, on the same day, gave support to a terrorist group (viz) PUDEMO by wearing a T-shirt with the words ‘PUDEMO’.
Both men were granted E3,000 bail.