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MBABANE – Government has branded the protesting teachers ‘criminals’.

Percy Simelane, the Government Press Secretary, made this startling utterance yesterday, saying the teachers have deliberately failed to do what the law requires. Simelane described the ongoing protest action by members of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) as nothing but lawlessness.

"Legally, we do not have a protest action or strike, but a spate of lawlessness and vandalism by delinquents whom we have reliably learnt are members of SNAT," he alleged. He said, as government, they were currently working around the clock to restore order in all the schools.

"When we finally do, the nation won’t miss it," Simelane promised. He further stated: "May the nation understand that restoring order is not an occasion, but a process." SNAT President Sibongile Mazibuko, in an interview yesterday, said it was absurd for the office of Simelane to label the teachers involved in the protest action ‘delinquents’.


Mazibuko said: "The last time I checked, teachers were professionals and not criminals, hence I can safely say the use of the word ‘delinquents’ is misguided." She stressed: "Percy is missing the point here. Criminals are those people who enrich themselves with the taxpayers’ money."



Editor, please publish my comments visibly because I have something very important to say. Can someone - anybody - tell Mr. Percy to stop pouring paraffin into a raging fire. Why is this man being verbally careless when the situation of the strike action demands maturity? Our kids are out of school as we speak and he, on the other hand, is busy making senseless and incomprehensible statements as if to galvanize the teachers' strike action further. I'm bound to agree with Sbongile Mazibuko's irrefutable statement that teachers are professionals and not criminals because criminals, proper, are those politicians who abuse tax payers' money for self-enrichment. In the meantime, can someone get Umnguni Percy to steer as far away from the public microphone as is manageable. His comments are not helpful. In fact they're unproductive and border on the childish and ludicrous.
Jun 28, 2012, 6:21 AM, TemaHeberu (tema@yahoo.lp)

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