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Cosatu slams Swaziland 'dictatorship'

The union federation was responding to the unexplained arrest of Jay Naidoo by Swazi police.

Jay Naidoo, who was detained by Swaziland police on Thursday. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says its former General Secretary and former cabinet minister Jay Naidoo's arrest in Swaziland proves the country is governed by a ruthless dictatorship which has no respect for human rights.

Central Methodist Church Bishop Paul Verryn and Southern African Trade Union Coordination Council (SATUCC)'s Paliani Chinguwo were also held.

Naidoo has since confirmed they have been released from police custody.

The group was stopped at a roadblock on Thursday afternoon and taken to the regional commander for questioning.

It's not yet clear why they were detained.

Cosatu's Patrick Craven says Naidoo was due to speak at a union summit in the country.

"Clearly this perfectly illustrates why it was necessary to have this hearing and we hope that there will be a huge international campaign to step up the campaign for political freedom and democracy in this monarchist dictatorship."

The country is ruled by King Mswati III who earlier this week said he was visited by God and this resulted in unseasonal electrical storms in the country and a new name for the country's controversial political system.

Swaziland is now officially to be known as a Monarchal democracy, he said.

Mswati said the new name reflected the people's participation in the country's governance through use of the ballot box.