TEACH­ERS DEFY, WARN GOVT

Observer on Saturday - - Front Page -

“ If you still value your life or if you care for your chil­dren, you bet­ter leave the sta­dium as you are not al­lowed to be part of any ac­tiv­ity to do with SNAT.”

Three men who acted like ‘hooli­gans’ but claim­ing to be mem­bers of the Swazi­land Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Teach­ers (SNAT) ap­proached this re­porter and made se­ri­ous threats while he was in line of duty.

SNAT de­fied govern­ment who had or­dered that the or­gan­i­sa­tion must not hold Teach­ers Day yes­ter­day as it was a work­ing day and tak­ing into ac­count that ex­ter­nal ex­am­i­na­tions were un­der­way.

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary Dr Sibongile Mtshali had sug­gested that the teach­ers should look for an­other day to cel­e­brate the event, as yes­ter­day they were sup­posed to be in class.

How­ever, SNAT went ahead and held the event, teach­ers at­tended the event in their num­bers de­fy­ing the PS who had thought that they heed her ad­vice.

The event took place at King Sob­huza II Me­mo­rial Sta­dium.

The re­porter had the op­por­tu­nity of cov­er­ing al­most all what was hap­pen­ing in­clud­ing tak­ing pic­tures and cap­tur­ing re­marks made by al­most all the speak­ers. How­ever, just towards the end of the event, more than three blood­shot ‘teach­ers’ ap­proached the re­porter and de­manded to know what he was do­ing and if he had cre­den­tials to be part of the event.

The group of over three men, one dressed like a ‘cow­boy’ and an­other wear­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s red T-Shirt and a beret or­dered him to leave or they would set all the teach­ers upon him (re­porter).

“Who al­lowed you to be part of the event or au­tho­rised you to do what you are do­ing? If you are from the Swazi Ob­server, just leave be­fore some­thing worse hap­pens to you. Again never write any­thing and never pub­lish any of the pic­tures we saw you tak­ing. You do that, you will be dealt with,” threat­ened on of them while other nearby teach­ers watched. “Phuma up­hele la awu­fu­neki!” an­other one shouted. “Leave now or else we set the mem­bers against you.

We don’t need any­one from that news­pa­per as we still have an is­sue with you peo­ple of that news­pa­per,” an­other one shouted.

The three also ap­proached the SNAT ex­ec­u­tive whose mem­bers were still on the stage with the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Pres­i­dent Mbongwa Dlamini who was de­liv­er­ing his speech.

They asked SNAT Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Sikelela Dlamini what he knew about the pres­ence of a re­porter from this news­pa­per.

Dlamini al­legedly in­formed them that he knew the re­porter but he had not au­tho­rised him or any­one from the news­pa­per to cover the event.

“Sikelela knows you but he is dis­as­so­ci­at­ing him­self from al­low­ing you to cover this event.

Do your­self a favour and leave oth­er­wise we will call all the teach­ers to deal with you,” said one of the teach­ers.

Jus­tice Dlamini who was the pro­gramme di­rec­tor also ad­vised the re­porter to leave. Mo­ments af­ter the re­porter had alerted his su­pe­ri­ors about what had taken place, the SNAT lead­er­ship re­quested that the re­porter come back but in fear of his safety, the re­porter re­fused.

LIDVOLO PHEZULU: Teach­ers seen toyi-toy­ing and danc­ing dur­ing the World Teacher’s Day.

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