ZIMBABWE Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is extremely shocked and saddened to learn of the untimely passing on of Thulani Rudolph Maseko, a brave and courageous human rights lawyer, who was brutally assassinated on 21 January 2023 in Eswatini.
We are devastated by the heartless killing of our long-time friend, who was soft-spoken with an unflappable demeanour, which belied his steely and unwavering determination.
As Chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum, a coalition of civil society organisations and political parties working on amplifying demands for democratic reforms in Eswatini, Thulani was at the frontlines of the struggle for democracy.
Thulani lived a life of sacrifice and gave up a life of pleasures and was dedicated to liberating his country and southern Africa.
ZLHR had the honour and privilege to have worked with Thulani on several occasions as he was one of the founding members of Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (SouthernDefenders) and also played a critical role in the establishment of Lawyers for Human Rights Swaziland.
It breaks our hearts that for several years Thulani suffered and endured oppression at the hands of authorities in Eswatini including being imprisoned for more than 15 months.
We will remember Thulani as a fearless advocate for human rights, social justice, democracy and the rule of law and for his kindness. He was the embodiment of integrity and perseverance and he leaves an admirable legacy for many to aspire to.
His death is not only a loss to his family and friends but to southern Africa.
ZLHR will hold memories of our interactions with Thulani in high
ZLHR calls upon the Eswatini government to allow an independent, credible investigation into the circumstances of his death and bring those responsible for assassinating him to justice. In addition to fully investigating Thulani’s murder and securing justice, Eswatini authorities must put all necessary measures in place to ensure that lawyers, pro-democracy campaigners and ordinary citizens are safe, protected and able to carry out their legitimate work.
To Thulani’s wife Tanele, his children, the Maseko family and friends, may you be comforted in knowing that Thulani made a difference to the people of Eswatini and southern Africa.
ZLHR’s Board, membership, management and secretariat extends its
deepest condolences to Thulani’s family, relatives and colleagues.
We wish you strength, grace, and peace during this difficult time.
May Thulani’s Soul Rest in Eternal Peace.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
No. 103 Sam Nujoma Street, Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone: (+263 8677005347, +263 242 764085/705370/708118
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