Bloomberg News

Swaziland Teachers March to Demand U.S. Freezes Leaders’ Assets

June 01, 2011

June 1 (Bloomberg) -- Teachers in Swaziland, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarchy, protested in the capital, Mbabane, calling for the U.S. to freeze the assets of the country’s top leaders, said Muzi Mhlanga, general secretary of a teachers’ union.

About 1,000 teachers marched to the American embassy to demand U.S. action amid a fiscal crisis in the southern African nation, Mhlanga, of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers, said in an interview in the capital today. The union also wants South Africa to help bring democracy to Swaziland, he said.

Swaziland, Africa’s third-largest sugar producer and bordered by South Africa and Mozambique, is trying to contain a budget crisis that has forced it to raise taxes and slash spending. Labor unions have refused to agree to a planned state- worker wage cut and led violent pro-democracy protests against the government in April.

King Mswati III, who has 14 wives, has a personal fortune of $200 million, according to Forbes Magazine.

--Editors: Gordon Bell, Heather Langan

To contact the reporter on this story: Vuyisile Hlathswayo in Mbabane at vshlatshwayo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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