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


It is revealed in this book that what triggered constitutional developments in Swaziland was the wave of decolonization swept over Africa after 1945 and, most importantly, the independence of African countries in the 1950s and 1960s. The British colonial authorities invited the Swazi political elite to start constitutional talks in 1960. The Swazi political elite quarrelled bitterly among themselves and agreed to disagree, forcing the British to impose a Constitution on Swaziland in 1963, followed by elections in 1964 that were won by the royal Imbokodvo and the White USA alliance. Constitutional talks were thenceforth monopolized by the winners of the 1964 elections, while the Progressives were left in the cold. The British bequeathed to independent Swaziland a negotiated constitutional monarchical framework that King Sobhuza disliked, because it placed checks and balances on his powers. The Constitution was repealed in 1973 in the spirit of an auto-coup d’état. Despite King Sobhuza’s inability to fill the constitutional void before his death in 1982, he nonetheless instituted a despotic monarchical regime that was largely and comparatively benevolent.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

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

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