Teacher fined for stoning cop
MANZINI - A teacher was arrested last Thursday after he assaulted a policeman who was fully clad in uniform.
The incident happened during the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) protest march which was attended by over 6 000 teachers last week.
Sandile Mndzebele (29) of Kwaluseni appeared before Magistrate Lucky Groening charged with common assault.
He pleaded guilty to assaulting Sergeant Castro Methula, a Bulembu Post Commander. Mndzebele also confessed that he threw a stone at a crowd while trying to defend himself during the protest.
"Your Worship, I was being assaulted, therefore, I threw the stone because I was defending myself and did not have an idea that it was going to hit a police officer.
"I would like to plead for leniency as I am a temporary teacher and only earn E2 000 per month," Mndzebele said.
The teacher hit the police officer with a stone on the chest which saw about 15 police officers and Correctional Services personnel trying to contain the group of teachers.
"When the protestors were near Nedbank, towards the police station, they started throwing stones randomly at the police," the Royal Swaziland Police (RSP) Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Wendy Hleta said.
Superintendent Hleta said the RSP frowned on assaulting police officers during demonstrations.
She also said it should be understood that the police were there to maintain law and order with a mandate to protect passersby and demonstrators against potential injury from vehicles, which were using public roads.
Mndzebele was sentenced to five months imprisonment with an option of a E500 fine, which he paid.
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