Times of Eswatini

Gunmen held us hostage for 6hrs -


NYAKATFO – It was a sixhour ordeal for Nyakatfo High School Head teacher Mlungisi Kunene and five others, when they were held hostage by three armed men.

This happened on Wednesday at around 9pm within the school premises. The fear in Kunene’s eyes was evident as he spoke in a video that was circulatin­g online. He said the men were armed with firearms.

Yesterday, many emaSwati woke up the shocking video, in which Kunene was seen announcing that he was the head teacher of the school. He also said undergroun­d forces had arrived at the school and they were very angry.

According to the head teacher, the men were sending a clear message that whenever they said schools should be closed, this should be done without question.

Though in such situations armed men often cover their faces, some with balaclavas, in this case, it is alleged that the men appeared presentabl­e and had not covered their faces.

In the video, Kunene went on to say failure to close schools meant that anyone who would not do as ordered, would be working against the undergroun­d forces.

“For this reason, they would be going to other schools when they leave this place,” Kunene stated.

The head teacher, who appeared shaken in the video, but his eyes were focussed on the camera, was also ordered to recite the slogan ‘Amandla!’.

He initially said ‘Amandla!’ in a low voice, without raising his hand, but he was ordered to repeat it with a clenched fist and raised high.

When contacted, the head teacher confirmed that the video was taken within the school area. It is alleged that although there were only three men, they appeared to have plenty firearms.

According to Kunene, he was at the school premises around 9pm to monitor an electricia­n who was working in one of the buildings in the school. He said as he was doing this, the men appeared out of nowhere. The security guard, who was at the entrance, was no match for the armed trio.

Kunene revealed that the men then ordered four others; two teachers, electricia­n and the security guard, to join in.

“They wanted to know why I had refused to close the school as ordered by the commander of the solidarity forces,” said Kunene.

Further, he revealed that at the time, it was traumatic because the men were armed and he had no idea what would happen thereafter.

Kunene said none of them were assaulted.

 ?? (Pic:Nyakatfo High School Former & Present Students) ?? A view of Nyakatfo High School.
(Pic:Nyakatfo High School Former & Present Students) A view of Nyakatfo High School.

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