The South African regional bloc, Sadc, has expressed “deep concern” over the killing of Eswatini rights activist Thulani Maseko who was gunned down at home on Sunday.

A statement by the head of Sadc’s political and security organ, Namibian President Hage Geingob, said Mr Maseko was at the time of death heading a coalition set up to advocate for national dialogue to resolve the political crisis in the kingdom.

The bloc urged the Eswatini government to ensure that the matter “is swiftly, transparently and comprehensively investigated, and that any or all persons suspected of committing this heinous crime are brought to justice”.

While expressing its condolences to Mr Maseko’s family and the nation, Sadc called on the people to remain calm while the appropriate investigations are done and the matter is concluded.

It said dialogue should still be pursued to resolve the political and security challenges affecting the country.

It came as the US called for an impartial probe into the killing, saying it remained “deeply concerned about continuing violence in Eswatini” and urged political dialogue.

Over the last two years there have been waves of pro-democracy protests in Eswatini – the continent’s last absolute monarchy.

Security forces in the country have frequently used excessive force to break up protests.

Source: BBC