Mbabane, Eswatini – Thulani Maseko, a leading human rights lawyer and pro-democracy activist in Eswatini, was tragically shot and killed at his home on Saturday evening. Maseko was murdered in front of his wife and children by unknown assailants.
The murder has sparked outrage and condemnation from human rights groups and political leaders, with many calling for an end to the violence and murders that seem to be increasing in Africa.
Nelson Chamisa, leader of the CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC), took to social media to express his condolences for Maseko’s family and to condemn Africa as a breeding ground for violence and murder. Chamisa stated, “My sincere condolences to Eswatini and Thulani Maseko’s family. A leading Swaziland human rights lawyer and pro-democracy activist was shot dead at his house and died on the spot. Africa cannot be a breeding ground for murders and violence. Cowards and rogues cannot stand good men. Rest In Peace comrade.”
CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere also expressed her condolences to Maseko’s family and described his death as tragic. “We extend our sincere condolences to the Maseko family on the tragic passing of Thulani Maseko, a leading human rights lawyer and pro-democracy activist who was shot dead yesterday evening at his house. His wife was there with him in the lounge. May he rest in peace,” said Mahere.
Media reports in Eswatini indicate that Maseko’s death came a few hours after King Mswati warned those calling for democracy that his mercenaries would deal with them. However, the government of Eswatini has distanced itself from Maseko’s murder, stating that he was killed by unknown criminals.
“Government also wants to warn against speculations and insinuations, peddled particularly on social media platforms in instances like these. Again, the government distinctively disassociates… and the country’s authorities from these heinous acts,” said a statement from the government.
The murder of Thulani Maseko has once again highlighted the ongoing human rights crisis in Eswatini and the need for greater protection for pro-democracy activists and human rights defenders. The international community must come together to support the families of victims like Maseko and to demand an end to the violence and repression that continues to plague the African continent.