POPCRU mourns the passing of Cde Mario Masuku

The Police and Prison Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has learned with sadness the passing of Comrade Mario Masuku, an  eSwatini internationalist intellectual and former leader of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO).

Cde Masuku was born in October 1951 in the Southern part of eSwatini, and was an instrumental part of PUDEMO, which has been fighting for democratic change in that country since 1983.

He was the founder of the banking union, the Swaziland Union of Financial and Allied Workers (SUFIAW), an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) which has very strong bilateral relations with COSATU. He was also a former soccer player and administrator of one of the soccer giants called Mbabane Highlanders FC.

He led PUDEMO from the underground between 1983 and 1990, building political consciousness in the suppressed nation, and building mass democratic underground structures.

Under his leadership and determination,  COSATU Congress took a resolution to lobby the ANC government to offer PUDEMO diplomatic status.

In recognition of his sacrifice and exemplary leadership, on 15 March 2010 the Danish parliament conferred on him the Prestigious Danish Democracy Award, making him the very first recipient.

Cdeario retired from active leadership in 2017, due to I’ll health inflicted on him by the eSwatini regime in its prisons and psychological torture.

He is a recipient of the POPCRU’s Gregory Rockman Award- the most prestigious award presented in recognition and appreciation of the most distinguished excellent and loyal service rendered by individuals or collectives to the organisation.
It is meant to salute the most outstanding hard work and dedication shown by individuals/collectives who sacrificed beyond imagination to ensure that the flame they lit symbolises, gives hope and justice for all.

The award is also a sign of acknowledgement and encouragement to individuals/collectives who have expanded democracy at the grass roots level, promoted legal reforms and human rights, triumphed over tragedy and prejudice and highly contributed to the progress that humanity has achieved thus far.

As part of remembering this great giant, POPCRU will continue intensifying its solidarity work with its sister organisations across the SADC region and beyond.

May he rest in peace

Issued by POPCRU on 12/01/2021

For more information contact Richard Mamabolo on 066 135 4349