28 January 2023
1. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) notes with deep concern reports coming out of Eswatini about the killing of Mr Thulani Rudolf Maseko, a leading human rights lawyer and political activist in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The Community regrets the untimely death of Mr Maseko.
2. At his death, Mr. Maseko was Chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum which was established as a coalition of non-State actors to advocate for a process of national political dialogue aimed at resolving the security and political challenges confronting the Kingdom.
3. SADC expresses its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Maseko, his friends, colleagues, and to the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini for the loss of Mr. Maseko.
4. SADC also calls upon the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to ensure that the killing of Mr. Maseko is swiftly, transparently and comprehensively investigated, and that any or all persons suspected of committing this heinous crime are brought to justice.
5. In this context, SADC further calls upon the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini to remain calm, exercise due care and consideration whilst the appropriate structures conduct the investigations and bring the matter to completion.
6. SADC reiterates the need for a peaceful resolution of the political and security challenges affecting the country. When dialogue fails, people go to war. Therefore, we propose that national and inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogue takes place.