The Imposed 1963 Constitution, the Maiden Legislative and Executive Councils, and the Select Constitutional Committee

  • Hlengiwe Portia Dlamini
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


Chapter 4 explores how Britain was compelled to impose a constitution on Swaziland in 1963 owing to the collapse of the 1963 London Conference. The Constitution confined King Sobhuza II to cultural and traditional affairs, while excluding him from effective governance. This exclusion caused great concern for the monarchists and their White allies, who counted on the Swazi King to protect their investments and private property against Progressive onslaughts. The monarchists and Whites were as much against the Constitution as the Progressives, although for different reasons. The contestation of the 1963 Constitution did not stop Britain from proceeding with elections in June 1964. Sobhuza changed his mind and formed a political party—the Imbokodvo—despite hitherto having been opposed to such a move for its being ‘unSwazi’. His White allies formed the USA and, together, they entered into a coalition against the Progressives, and swept all the legislative seats in the elections. The overwhelming victory of the Imbokodvo/USA alliance made it possible for them to monopolize the Legislative Council and the Constitutional Committee. The elections enabled Sobhuza to find new faith in modern politics that he had so far perceived with suspicion.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hlengiwe Portia Dlamini
    • 1
  1. 1.University of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa

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