Operation Waya Waya goes regional
MANZINI – Teachers were unanimous in agreeing to go against the court order and embark on regional pickets from today.
They said this at the SNAT Centre yesterday during a meeting attended by over 2 000 teachers.
They came short of calling for the resignation of their leaders whom they blamed for single-handedly changing the rules of the strike.
They said they had never voted for a sit-in or a go-slow but wanted a fully-fledged strike action.
The teachers arrived at the decision to defy the court order after SNAT Secretary General, Muzi Mhlanga had explained to them what happened on Tuesday night.
"Government took us to court on Tuesday night, as is usually the case.
"Our lawyers explained to the court how we had fulfilled all the necessary requirements for the strike action.
This included voting for it and informing government on time. It is within the law to prolong a strike action if what you are striking for has still not been met.
We were surprised when the government lawyer said we needed to get a certificate of unresolved dispute again, on the very thing we were striking for last week. He also said we also needed to give government time again to respond to the grievance. This was a shock to us," he said.
He then informed them that after midnight, the judge issued a ruling that the strike was illegal.
Mandla Sibandze said it would seem that teachers had obeyed the law for too long.
"Now is the time to do budlabha (carelessness)."
Bonga Dlamini said government had no qualms with the two day strike action that was held last Wednesday and Thursday.
"But when we voted for a
non ending strike action government started running helter-skelter. This government runs scared when we call for a khukhulela ngoco (non ending str-ike).
"This is why government was also afraid of the April 12 strike. We must make government run," he said to the approval of teachers.
Another said: "For how long are we going to be prisoners of fear? Let us liberate ourselves and protest."
Patrick Shabangu said teachers should take a resolution not to go to school from today.
"We must show total defiance. We are also expecting our leaders to organise a march to Parliament where we will deliver a petition."
A female teacher who warned that SNAT could be deregistered if it took an illegal route was booed and eventually sat down before she could finish what she was saying.
Rodgers Tsikati said: "We should defy this court order. Tomorrow we are not going to school
Some teachers expressed concern that some of their colleagues would go to class yet the general consensus was that there would be no lessons.
Justice Dlamini then suggested that the strike goes to the regions where leaders would visit to ascertain how the teachers are coping. His sentiments were echoed by a majority of teachers.
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