Return to home Swaziland: http://www.africanet.com/africanet/country/swazi/home.htm#History A kingdom in SE Africa between S. Mozambique
and SE Transvaal in the Union of South Africa. The capital is
Mbabane. The population was about 1.1 million.
(WUD, 1994 p.1436)(Econ, 10/25/03, p.43) 1899 Dec 10,
Sobhuza (1899-1982) succeeded Ngwane V as Paramount Chief of
Swaziland, when he was only a few months old. His grandmother,
Labotsibeni Mdluli, acted as regent until December 22, 1921.
1967 Apr 25, Britain granted
internal self-government to Swaziland. The new Swaziland flag
included a black and white shield to depict racial harmony.
1968 Apr 19, Makhosetive,
later King Mswati III of Swaziland, was born.
1968 Swaziland in southern
Africa gained independence from Britain.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)
1973 Apr 12, In Swaziland
Sobhuza II repealed the constitution and dissolved parliament,
making himself absolute ruler. Political parties were banned and a
state of emergency was declared.
1980 Apr 1, The southern
African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) was established
by 9 countries with the Lusaka declaration (Angola, Botswana,
Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe).
The main aim was coordinating development projects in order to
lessen economic dependence on apartheid South Africa. On
August 17, 1992, it was transformed into the Southern African
Development Community (SADC). By 2008 it included 15 members.
1982 Aug 21, In Swaziland
Sobhuza II (b.1899), former king and father of King Mswati III,
died. At his death he had 70 wives and left over 1000 grandchildren.
1986 Apr 25, In Swaziland King
Mswati III succeeded his father Sobhuza II as ruler of the southern
1997 May 27, Health authorities
were shocked by chief Jameson Ndznnatabantfu Maseko who banned the
use of condoms on the basis of biblical law.
(SFC, 5/28/97, p.A12)
1997 The Swaziland government
issued a decree naming Ted Reilly, his son, daughter and five aides
as game rangers. Under Swazi law, the rangers were allowed to shoot
and kill poachers caught in the act.
2001 Sep 29, It was reported
that Swaziland King Mswati III had told the country’s young women to
stop having sex for 5 years to help stop the spread of AIDS. 25% of
the country’s 900,000 people were estimated to be infected.
(SFC, 9/29/01, p.B2)
2002 Aug 2, A government plan
to buy Swaziland's King Mswati III a $250 million luxury jet, a
price five times the nation's national deficit, drew protests in
this South African nation, which has been plagued by severe food
2002 Jun, Bruce Wilkinson,
Georgia preacher and author of “The Prayer of Jabez," used a US
government grant of $108,000 to fund a conference on AIDS for
ministers in Swaziland. Wilkinson proceeded to embark on a mission
to save children in Swaziland orphaned by AIDS in a program that he
called Dream for Africa.
(WSJ, 12/19/05, p.A1)
2002 Swaziland's King Mswati
III abducted a schoolgirl for his 10th wife.
(Econ, 2/18/06, p.48)
2003 Sep 11, Swaziland's King
Mswati III selected his 12th bride, less than a week after he picked
bride No. 11 from thousands of young Swazi maidens.
2003 Oct 18, In Swaziland
voters chose a new parliament in one of the world's last absolute
monarchies, while pro-democracy groups denounced the vote as a sham.
Political parties were banned and King Mswati III ruled by royal
2003 Oct, Swaziland's King
Mswati III dismissed the entire government and named an ex-police
chief as interim leader.
(Econ, 10/25/03, p.43)
2004 Jan 13, A senior Swaziland
aide said King Mswati III has ordered nine palaces built within
existing royal compounds to house seven of his 10 wives and two
future brides. Some $15 million of his impoverished kingdom's
national budget would be used on the project.
2004 Jan 23,The World Economic
Forum began in Davos, Switzerland. The war in Iraq and the threat of
terrorism dominated the Forum as the US appealed for cooperation on
both issues and the U.N. chief warned that an overly narrow focus
could worsen global tensions.
2004 Jul 15, The Gates
Foundation announced a $44.7 million award at the AIDS Conference in
Bangkok to a consortium of TB and AIDS researchers. The 2 diseases
were often linked. A UN report cited 7 countries as the hardest hit
by the AIDS pandemic: Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Malawi,
the Central African Republic and Mozambique.
(WSJ, 7/15/04, p.B1)(SFC, 7/16/04, p.A6)
2005 Feb 23, Bruce Wilkinson,
Georgia preacher and author of “The Prayer of Jabez," gave the
Swaziland government a 34-page proposal for his Dream for Africa
program. It included demands for a 99-year lease on 32,500 acres
between 2 game parks and control of the game parks. The government
did not accept the proposal. In October Dream for Africa announced
that Mr. Wilkinson had resigned, but that the program would
(WSJ, 12/19/05, p.A1)
2005 Nov 24, The UN food agency
said the United States has thrown a lifeline to six southern African
countries, donating food aid valued at $45 million. The food will be
distributed across Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia
2005 Swaziland adopted a new
constitution which included guarantees of basic freedoms.
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.52)
2006 Feb 8, Swaziland’s new
constitution went into effect.
(Econ, 2/18/06, p.48)(http://tinyurl.com/kcm8a)
2006 Dec 20, It was reported
that Swaziland had the worst AIDS problem in the world with one in 3
Swazis between 15 and 49 infected with HIV.
(WSJ, 12/20/06, p.A1)
2006 Swaziland’s population was
about 1.1 million. 40% of the population was unemployed and about
the same proportion had HIV/AIDS.
(Econ, 2/18/06, p.48)
2006 In Swaziland Canadian
entrepreneur Volker Wagner bought the entire town of Bulembu, five
years after it was abandoned, and entrusted it to a Canadian
evangelical ministry to run the place as an orphanage for children
whose parents have often died of AIDS.
2007 Aug 9, Officials said a
total of 28 people died and hundreds of homes were destroyed by a
series of forest fires which swept through parts of South Africa and
Swaziland since the end of last month.
2007 Sep 1, Life expectancy in
Andorra was reported to be longer than in any other world country,
while the same in Swaziland was reported to be the shortest.
(Econ, 9/1/07, p.14)
2007 Nov 23, A study
commissioned by the state's emergency response council said nearly a
third of Swaziland's children are considered orphaned and vulnerable
as AIDS takes its toll on the country. Close to 40 percent of
Swaziland adults are living with HIV and AIDS, the highest infection
rate anywhere in the world.
2008 Jul 16, The United States
signed a pair of agreements to boost trade and investment ties with
countries in southern and eastern Africa. These included the Trade,
Investment and Development Cooperation Agreement with the Southern
Africa Customs Union (SACU), which includes Botswana, Lesotho,
Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland; and the Trade Investment and
Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the East African Community, which
includes Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
2008 Sep 6, Swaziland King
Mswati III celebrated his 40th birthday and the nation’s 40th year
of independence in a lavish extravaganza officially estimated at
$2.5 million, but widely believed to have cost 5 times more. Mswati
remained Africa’s last absolute monarch and lived a luxurious
lifestyle with his 13 wives. Some 70% of the population of 1 million
lived below the poverty line and nearly 40% of adults were infected
with the AIDS virus.
(SFC, 9/7/08, p.A9)
2008 Sep 10, Officials said at
least 89 people have died in wildfires sweeping through Mozambique,
South Africa and Swaziland.
2008 Nov 15, Mario Masuku
(b.1951), Swaziland leader of the opposition People’s United
Democratic Movement (Pudemo), was jailed.
2008 In Swaziland Amos Mbedzi
of South Africa survived a botched bomb attack against King Mswati
III at a bridge of the Lozitha Royal Palace in the commercial hub
Manzini. The bomb exploded prematurely. Mbedzi survived with serious
injuries while two others in the car were killed. In 2w012 Mbedzi
was convicted of high treason.
2009 Feb 20, A Swaziland
government report said about 42 percent of pregnant women in the
country are infected with the virus that causes AIDS, a 3 percent
jump in a single year. An estimated 185,000 of Swaziland's 1 million
people are HIV positive, and about 30,000 are receiving
2009 Jun 16, The US added six
African countries to a blacklist of countries trafficking in people,
and put US trading partner Malaysia back on the list. Chad, Eritrea,
Niger, Mauritania, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe were added to the list in
the annual report. Removed from the list were Qatar, Oman, Algeria,
2010 Apr 19, Winners of the
2010 Goldman Environmental Prizes, known as the "green Nobels," were
honored in San Francisco. Sereivathana Tuy of Cambodia won for his
efforts in stopping farmers from killing elephants. Randall Arauz of
Costa Rica won for his campaign to halt the maiming and killing of
sharks for their fins. Humberto Rios Labrada (47) of Cuba won for
his campaign to shift farming practices toward increasing diversity
and reducing chemical use. Malgorzata Gorska of Poland won for her
fight to stop a highway through the Rospuda Valley, one of Poland’s
last vestiges of untouched wilderness. Thuli Makama of Swaziland won
for her efforts in getting citizen participation on the Swaziland
board in charge of the environment. She helped prompt investigations
into allegations of private park rangers killing suspected poachers
in sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy. Lynn Henning of the
USA won for exposing polluting practices of livestock ranches in
(AP, 4/19/10)(SFC, 4/19/10, p.A1)
2010 Sep 6, In Swaziland armed
police arrested 50 members the Swaziland Democracy Campaign as they
prepared for a protest march in Mbabane. The umbrella group had been
set up jointly with Cosatu, South Africa’s main union. South African
participants were deported.and Swazis were harshly interrogated.
More people were arrested and beaten during the march the next day.
(Econ, 9/18/10, p.63)
2010 Dec 22, In Rome, Italy,
all embassies were informed about a pair of package bombs that
exploded at the Swiss and Chilean embassies, injuring two people who
opened them. Security officials later said that an Italian group
calling itself Informal Anarchist Federation claimed responsibility.
(AP, 12/23/10)(AP, 12/24/10)
2010 Swaziland’s main revenue,
generated mostly from a regional customs union dominated by South
Africa, fell by almost two-thirds this year due to an economic
(Econ, 7/30/11, p.43)
2011 Mar 5, In Swaziland Sphiwe
Mazibuko, president of the teachers union, said that teachers are
using recent turmoil in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia as momentum for
mass mobilization against the government's recent call to cut
salaries. Two thousand teachers gathered to discuss means to fight
the government, which the union says is to blame for the country's
economic collapse. Swaziland is an absolute monarchy wrought with
2011 Mar 18, In Swaziland a
protest sparked by plans to freeze civil service salaries drew
nearly 7,000 demonstrators, one of the largest crowds ever seen in
the normally placid monarchy, as pro-democracy activists used
Friday's gathering to push their cause.
2011 Apr 11, A spokesman for
the Swaziland Solidarity Network, said in a statement that four
people were arrested as they returned from South Africa to their
homeland after a weekend planning meeting.
2011 Apr 12, Swaziland police
fired water cannons and tear gas, beat people with batons and
arrested activists to prevent pro-democracy protests in sub-Saharan
Africa's last absolute monarchy.
2011 Apr 13, Swaziland police
fired tear gas and water cannons for a second day on at teachers
poised to march in the commercial capital.
2011 Jun 23, Swaziland was
re[ported to be asking neighboring South Africa for an emergency
bailout to patch over a chronic national cash crunch that has
sparked rare political unrest against King Mswati III, Africa's last
absolute monarch. The IMF said last month Swaziland was near
financial collapse, with a budget deficit of 14.3 percent of GDP,
similar to Greece, and an economy stuck in the doldrums. Swaziland's
public wage bill amounts to 18 percent of GDP, more than any other
country in Africa.
2011 Jun 24, Swaziland found
its options narrowing to avoid financial collapse, turning to
neighboring South Africa for a bailout as the African Development
Bank refused a $150 million loan request.
2011 Jul 21, About 100 Swazi
AIDS activists marched to the finance ministry to demand that the
kingdom not allow a crippling financial crisis to interrupt the
supply of life-saving drugs. Swaziland has the world's highest HIV
infection rate, with one in four adults carrying the virus.
2011 Jul 27, In Swaziland a
court overturned a government application to stop protesters from
demonstrating over the king's handling of an economic crisis.
2011 Jul 28, In Swaziland
thousands of people participated in a second day of demonstrations
over the handling of an economic crisis by King Mswati III.
2011 Jul 29, In Swaziland a
"national convention" opened, aiming to bring together civil society
groups to map out how the small southern African kingdom could begin
negotiations toward multi-party democracy. King Mswati III snubbed
the gathering after being invited to deliver an opening address.
2011 Jul 30, In Swaziland talks
on democratic reforms in Africa's last absolute monarchy stumbled as
the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions, the country's largest
labor group, walked out of a civil society meeting.
2011 Aug 2, South Africa agreed
to a $368-million loan to neighboring Swaziland, just one quarter of
the amount sought by King Mswati III to avoid his government's
2011 Aug 8, Swaziland's
cash-strapped university failed to re-open for the new academic
year. It expected to remain closed indefinitely.
2011 Aug 22, An International
Monetary Fund delegation began a two-week visit to cash-strapped
Swaziland to see if the country is doing enough to win the fund's
blessing to secure foreign loans.
2011 Aug 23, Swaziland King
Mswati III asked his Cabinet for a $57 million cut from a rescue
loan South Africa has extended to his country in exchange for his
efforts to secure the funds. While the national budget faced drastic
cuts, the king's budget was boosted in March from $24 million to $30
2011 Sep 3, The Swaziland
government sought a court injunction to block a week of planned
pro-democracy protests in the southern African kingdom where
political parties are banned.
2011 Sep 5, In Swaziland
hundreds of anti-government protesters marched through Mbabane, the
capital, demanding democracy after the government failed in efforts
to have a court declare the “nationwide" strike illegal.
2011 Sep 6, In Swaziland more
than 1,000 people marched through the main city of Manzini in one of
the largest protests yet against Africa's last absolute monarch,
King Mswati III.
2011 Sep 9, Swazi police fired
teargas and beat back anti-government protesters with batons in the
capital Mbabane, where 1,000 people marched for a 5th day after
authorities failed to win a court order to stop them.
2011 Sep 15, Around 500 Swazi
teachers marched through the capital Mbabane to protest the closure
of schools due to the kingdom's severe budget crisis.
2011 Sep 28, Swaziland's King
Mswati III fired Judge Thomas Masuku, seen as one of the only
critical voices in the kingdom's judiciary. Masuku had already been
suspended from the bench in June and faced a series of misdemeanor
charges, including insulting Mswati in a 2010 ruling that used the
phrase "forked tongue" in reference to the monarch.
2011 Oct 17, Swaziland's King
Mswati III announced a major cabinet reshuffle in a move his critics
say is aimed at punishing those who do not toe the line. Amongst
those fired was Justice Minister David Matse who refused to fire an
independently minded High Court judge, Thomas Masuku, earlier this
2011 Nov 1, Swazi police fired
teargas outside a courthouse in the capital Mbabane to disperse
protesters demanding the Supreme Court stop its work amid a strike
2011 Nov 11, Swaziland said it
will delay paying salaries to civil servants by up to two weeks, as
the kingdom's financial crisis deepens.
2011 Nov 15, A Swaziland
spokesman said the cash-strapped country has pulled together enough
loans from local banks and private businesses to pay government
workers on time this month.
2011 Nov 20, Swaziland's king
Mswati III's 12th wife, who was last year caught in bed with the
justice minister, said she has been kicked out of the palace after
pepper-spraying a security guard, who refused her effort to leave
the palace to take her child to hospital. LaDube (23) is the third
of Mswati's 13 wives to leave the palace since 2004.
2011 The population of
Swaziland numbered about 1.2 million.
(Econ, 7/30/11, p.43)
2012 Jan 30, Swaziland police
fired teargas at university students, when they protested the
government's failure to open the school for classes this year.
2012 Feb 10, Swaziland’s main
teachers' union said the government has let go 1,200 school
teachers, leaving classrooms empty just one month into the school
year. The union threatened mass action.
2012 Feb 27, Musa
Ndlangamandla, the sacked chief editor of the Swazi Observer
newspaper, said that he has fled to South Africa in fear of his life
after receiving a tip-off that police wanted to arrest him on terror
charges. He was fired in January after he published interviews with
leaders of banned pro-democracy groups in his daily column.
2012 Apr 2, The Swazi home
affairs minister said King Mswati III, Africa's last absolute
monarch, has ordered his impoverished subjects to give him cows for
his birthday celebrations on April 19. Mswati was rated by Forbes
magazine as among the world's 15 richest monarchs, with a personal
fortune of more than $100 million. He has 13 wives, each with their
2012 Apr 10, Swaziland King
Mswati III obtained a court order prohibiting a march the next day,
the first of four days of planned demonstrations.
2012 Jun 22, Swaziland teachers
went on strike demanding a 4.5 percent salary increase.
2012 Jul 6, Swaziland police
used tear gas to disperse protesters marching to demand more pay for
teachers in the tiny southern African nation.
2012 Aug 3, A Swazi court
ordered the government to reinstate more than 300 teachers fired
after taking part in a five-week strike over salaries, saying their
action was legal.
2012 Aug 29, A Swaziland court
convicted a South African man of high treason and terrorism over a
botched bomb attack against King Mswati III. the court found Amos
Mbedzi guilty of planning to plant the bomb at a bridge of the
Lozitha Royal Palace in the commercial hub Manzini in 2008. The bomb
exploded prematurely, but Mbedzi survived with serious injuries
while two others in the car were killed.
2012 Aug 29, Swaziland
reinstated over 200 teachers fired earlier in August for
participating in a six-week long strike.
2012 Nov 17, In Swaziland
Ellinah Wamukoya (61) was consecrated to serve as the Anglican
church's bishop and first female bishop in Africa.
2012 Nov 26, Swaziland
government officials saidy salary spending by the government will
rise to $528 million, a roughly $23 million increase year-over-year,
despite the country's weakened economy.
2013 Aug 24, Thousands of
Swazis voted in the first round of parliamentary elections that
pro-democracy groups have dismissed as window dressing in Africa's
last absolute monarchy.
2013 Sep 20, Voters in
Swaziland cast their ballots in legislative elections dismissed by
critics as a rubber stamp for King Mswati III's absolute rule.
2013 Nov 29, Swaziland's Senate
chief said lawmakers should not divorce to avoid embarrassing the
country's polygamous king, who has declared that only death can undo