Govt still wants SNAT Executive behind bars
MBABANE – Government yesterday moved a fresh application to have 18 members of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers’ (SNAT) executive arrested for 30 days.
It further sought an order nullifying the notice dated July 3, 2012 appointing July 6, 2012 as the date of the strike action. This was allegedly because the strike was in conflict with the court order issued on June 20, 2012 by the same court.
The case was before Industrial Court Judge Dumisani Mazibuko. The application which was on a certificate of urgency could not be finalised yesterday because Mazibuko was of the view that the issues which had arisen required that oral evidence be led.
In the certificate, Senior Counsel at the Attorney General’s office, Sifiso Khumalo told the court that the matter had remained urgent as long as there was disregard of the court order, whose non compliance was prejudicial to the government.
"Further, the matter is urgent by reason that the strike is continuing and there is violence and continuous disruption of classes. Government cannot be afforded substantial relief in hearing in due course because by that time, the strike would have caused irreparable harm to the children, parents and the country as a whole," Khumalo alleged.
An affidavit of Evart Madlopha, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service was attached to the application. He said he acted on the strength of advice from school inspectors and the police who attended the strike action.
"I am advised and verily believe that all the respondents have wilfully and deliberately defied the order of this honourable court as they were aware of the court order.
Further, on July 3, respondents purportedly resolved to suspend the unlawful strike action and appointed Friday July 6 as the date of commencement of another indefinite strike action despite the existence of the interim court order which is binding and returnable on July 10, 2012," Madlopha said.
The matter was postponed to today where counsel for both sides will be heard on arguments.
Attorney General argues matter himself
MBABANE – The Attorney General, Majahenkhaba Dlamini yesterday took to the Industrial Court to stop the striking teachers.
Dlamini took it upon himself to ensure that government’s case against the Swaziland National Teachers Association succeeded.
He was in court to argue the matter himself.
He had not delegated such authorities to his officers this time around.
Senior Counsel Sifiso Khumalo was on Dlamini’s side to help him obtain the relief sought.
Arresting cops will have to testify
MBABANE – Government will have to call the police officers who arrested some striking teachers to explain to the court where they were and on which date.
Industrial Court Judge Dumisani Mazibuko also foresaw a possibility that the matter may go on until tomorrow as there may arise the need to lead oral evidence.
Mazibuko said this was because the issues raised by the Swaziland National Association of Teachers in its responding papers demanded oral evidence. This was to ascertain if the people cited in the papers as having engaged in the strike, in fact did go on strike.
"It would be necessary to call the officers who arrested them to lead evidence before court because they have denied ever engaging in the unlawful action," Mazibuko opined.
Mandla Mkhwanazi, SNAT’s legal representative, asked the court to dismiss the application as the dispute of fact should have been foreseen by government before launching the application and it acted to its prejudice by not recommending such procedure.
The SNAT Executive allegedly denied ever engaging in the unlawful strike action; they called upon anyone who saw them in the ‘act’ to come forth with proof as to when and where.
They vehemently denied disrupting classes and causing violence.
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