7th June 2019

It is disturbing and disheartening that the media, especially the Swazi Observer continue to paddle lies about our trade union organization, the Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland. The Swazi Observer has consistently told lies and presented it as truth despite that we have through the Secretary General of the union Cde Wonder Mkhonza denied having coerced workers to join ATUSWA by promising them money and that ATUSWA officials were never assaulted by workers as claimed by the Montigny, working with the Swazi Observer.

ATUSWA has never and will never induce workers to join the union by promising and or giving them money, a fact that is even known by the Montigny employees. Even before asking the workers to sign joining forms the union distributed pamphlets which present what we stand for as a union and what we want to achieve for and with the workers. Anyone who doubt our sincerity must go to Montigny to speak to the ordinary workers who suffer everyday simple because they are not organized.

It is saddening that the allegations that have been made the Montigny and seiwu which are still to be tested in a court of law has been presented as facts that transpired by the Swazi Observer.  Yesterday the union filed its Answering affidavit which deals with the unfounded allegations being peddled by Montigny through their Affidavits and the Swazi Observer which has allowed itself to be used as a tool to frustrate the right to Freedom of Association and the right to organize.

The Swazi Observer have a duty to investigate the stories from their sources before presenting them as facts. We are confident that the Swazi Observer is well aware that their “source” is not an independent source. For Example, ATUSWA has never represented workers from Swazi Plantations yet we are accused of having caused havoc in a space that we have never occupied or even make attempts to occupy.

All we are asking for is that if we are mentioned in a story, we should be given the right to respond in order to balance the story. Moreover, it is one thing for a company which we all know, is going to do every trick in the book to continue violating the workers’ right to Freedom of Association, to make allegations but when those allegations are presented as facts by the media which ought to be fair, then it worries us.

We have tried to contact the leadership of the Swazi Observer to no avail and we trust that they will recognize and correct their mistakes because it is such incidences that erode the public trust of the media houses in Eswatini.


Issued by

The National Office Bearers


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