TEACHERS DEFY, WARN GOVT
“ 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.