Throngs of human rights activists and politicians came to bid farewell to Thulani Maseko, Sunday (Jan. 29).
Gathered at the deceased home in western Eswatini, they paid him a last homage.
The human rights lawyer was a leading figure in the push for Eswtini, an absolute monarchy, to transition into a multi-party democracy.
“It is now up to us to make sure that the Freedom that comrade Thulani fought and died for is a reality in our lifetime,” Wandile Dludlu, the Secretary General of The People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) urged.
“For the struggle we are fighting to continue, it will require sacrifice from the men and women. We may need to sacrifice our lives, our professions and everything we have.”
“The death of Thulani Maseko to us as the Swaziland youth congress is a sharp object to our hearts because Thulani Maseko is the person who introduced us to SWAYOCO, ( Swaziland Youth Congress). He is the person who introduced us to the Swazi struggle,” the president of SWAYOCO, Sakhile Nxumalo, lamented.
Calls for justice
Thulani Maseko was shot dead in his home last week, hours after a speech of defiance by the king against opponents of his absolute rule.
Local and international groups called for an independent and effective investigation into the killing.
“The international community and all the people that are concerned must put pressure on King Mswati the 3rd,” Jabulani Dlamini, a political activist insisted.
52-year-old Thulani Maseko is survived by his wife, and 4 children.
At the time of his death, he was working as a lawyer for two people facing trial for offenses allegedly committed during the unrest in 2021, the U.N. said.
The country was engulfed in pro-democracy protests two years ago, when there were reports of state violence against demonstrators and King Mswati III was accused of repressing any opposition.