The open society initiative for Southern Africa and the struggle for open society in Swaziland

Masigo, Lionel Percy.
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This study of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa and the struggle for an open society in Swaziland 2005-201 O is premised on the the notion that Swaziland is faced with serious challenges relating to democratic governance and the abuse of fundamental human rights that undermine the basic values of an open society. An open society is a society in which the state is responsive to the needs and interests of its people, is tolerant of different and differing views, and has clear, transparent, and accessible political mechanisms that allow people to determine who their leaders will be. Open society as an ideal stands for "freedom, democracy, and rule of law, human rights, social justice, and social responsibility" (Soros, 2000: 120). Open society , therefore, demands and requires the rule of law that guarantees freedom of speech and press, freedom of association and assembly, and other rights and freedoms that empower citizens to defend themselves against the abuse of power and to make use of the judicial branch for such defense (Soros, 2010: 70). Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), upon recognizing the deteriorating situation of human rights and governance declared Swaziland a crisis country, together with Angola, Zimbabwe, and later DRC. By "crisis country" OSISA means a country in which a calamity of governance persists through various manifestations, and these conditions are continuously in decline. The calamity of governance denotes a situation that has gone beyond ongoing systemic weakness: one that has gone into dysfunction and, without intervention, is on the precipice of total disequilibrium. Human rights and governance in a crisis country are systemically weak. The OSISA Board, therefore, established the Swaziland Engagement Fund to help address the situation. ( Abbreviation abstract)
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of Witwatersrand, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management (in the field of Public and Development Management)