Chaos in the city
MANZINI – Four teachers were wounded in a confrontation with security officers during the second day of their strike over a salary increment yesterday.
The four included three male teachers and one female who were allegedly beaten with batons by police who accused them of provocation.
One of the injured, Menzi Tsabedze had to be rushed to the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital by the Baphalali Red Cross Society where he was treated and discharged after sustaining injuries on his left foot.
The woman, Thobile Skhakhane, had her pants torn and was bleeding from the thigh. Meanwhile, Colani Tsabedze alleged that he was picked up from Nkoseluhlaza Street and taken to the police station where he said he was beaten up and later released.
Earlier in the day, he had been seen holding a TUCOSWA banner.
He showed the teachers his injured right leg which was bleeding.
After the teachers saw that the police were using force, they started pelting them with stones. However, Head of the Operation Support Service Unit (OSSU), Cruiser Ngcamphalala, maintained the calm of the riot squad until the teachers stopped throwing stones.
There was then a lull for about 10 minutes after which the police and correctional officers started chasing after a group of teachers who they accused of having thrown stones.
The police fired teargas canisters at the teachers forcing a number of businesses along Martin Street to close.
The group of teachers who gave the security forces a hard time were those who insisted on prolonging the march even after the leaders of the union had pronounced it was officially over at about 3pm.
Security forces detained one teacher at the President Centre, but did not state what his crime was. They took him aboard a truck and left with him.
‘Assaulted by cops? come to SNAT’
MANZINI – President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers, Sibongile Mazibuko con-demned the assault of teachers.
She said all teachers who were assaulted were asked to bring their reports to the SNAT executive who would then lodge a formal complaint to the police.
"We condemn the assault because the march was peaceful," she said.
She further said she was appalled to hear that police also used similar violence in Malkerns where a child was injured. "Police will be held accountable for this," she said. Mazibuko said SNAT was planning to visit the injured teacher, Menzi Tsabedze, who was thought to be in hospital. However, the teachers later learnt that Tsabedze had been discharged.
Jan joins march, slams cops
MANZINI – President of the Swaziland Democratic Party, Jan Sithole, condemned the police for the alleged brutality in yesterday’s protest march.
Sithole was also part of the masses who marched to the Regional Education Offices.
"We condemn the police brutality because we believe we have a constitution which allows freedom of expression, movement and opinion.
If people use these rights they are merely complying with the constitution. It is also wrong that teachers were not allowed to march on some of the streets, especially those that would expose them to the public.
"We, however, thank teachers for having restraint even under a provocative situation," he said.
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