knobkerrie wielding teacher disrupts classes, cops called
PIGG’S PEAK – A teacher at Emagobodvo High School was taken in for questioning by police after he allegedly disrupted classes, demanding that pupils stop learning in solidarity with teachers who are on strike.
Police were called in after Wandile Shabangu, carrying a knobkerrie is alleged to have moved from class to class while screaming for the pupils to support their teachers.
He is alleged to have threatened to beat the pupils with the knobkerrie if they did not support the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) action.
This was immediately after morning assembly.
Before everybody settled into their daily routine, Shabangu started the chaos which lasted for about 30 minutes. Some pupils from a Form III class are said to have ran out fearing that he would carry out the threat and beat them.
Some teachers are said to have bolted in fear, leaving their classes unattended while pupils ran out to watch as the drama unfolded. The Principal Mavela Dlamini is said to have tried to calm Shabangu to no avail.
According to the Deputy Principal, Mavela Dlamini, Shabangu hit doors and desks with the knobkerrie to draw attention.
"We told the teachers and pupils to come out of their classes because we didn’t know what he would do next. This was purely a safety measure as he kept moving from class to class. The principal tried to make him understand that it was wrong to force pupils out of class but he would not hear him.
"Some of the pupils had actually joined him in his strike as they were seen carrying placards written viva SNAT. The principal then called the police who responded promptly. The police actually saved the day as they were able to contain the situation. They took Shabangu away and also made sure that all the pupils returned to their classes and everything returned to normal," said Dlamini.
The police are said to have asked Shabangu, at the school what was wrong and he allegedly said he was respecting SNAT’s decision to engage in the strike until their grievances were attended to.
SNAT is demanding a 4.5 per cent salary increment from government.
Sensing that Shabangu was a danger to both pupils and his colleagues, the police decided to remove him from the scene to allow the learning process to continue without further problems.
Police Relations Officer Superintendent Wendy Hleta said the teacher was not arrested but taken away from the scene as he was acting violently. "The situation returned to normal after the police arrived. The teacher was taken away but later released," said Hleta.
SNAT representative in the Hhohho Region, Nkosinathi Dlamini said Shabangu’s behaviour had nothing to do with the organisation.
He said as an organisation they have proper ways of dealing with their issues. Sharing his view, Dlamini said he thinks Shabangu may have personal issues but not that he was supporting SNAT.
He said he should not have involved the pupils because SNAT is an organisation of teachers and not pupils. He said as an organisation they discourage teachers to act in the way Shabangu did.
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