The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called for a “transparent and comprehensive” investigation into the murder of prominent Eswatini lawyer Thulani Maseko at the weekend.A leading human rights lawyer and vocal government critic, Maseko was gunned down at his Manzini house on the night of January 21.
SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation chairperson Namibian President Hage Geingob said Thursday that the regional body was deeply concerned about and regrets the killing of Maseko.
“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,” Geingob said.
He called on the people of Eswatini “to remain calm, exercise due care and consideration whilst the appropriate structures conduct the investigations and bring the matter to completion.”
“SADC reiterates the need for peaceful resolution of the political and security challenges affecting the country,” the Namibian leader said.
He added: “When dialogue fails, people go to war. Therefore, we propose that national and inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogue takes place.”
At the time of his death, Maseko was chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum which was a coalition of non-state actors advocate for national political dialogue aimed at resolving the security and political challenges confronting Eswatini since last year.
Pro-democracy activists have since early 2022 had running battles with security forces in the capital Mbabane and other parts of Eswatini while protesting for political reforms in the country.
SADC has been trying to bring together the government and the pro-democracy activists.