Teachers' case postponed
BY TINTFOMBI SIMELANE
MBABANE – Over 50 members of the Swazi-land National Association of Teachers (SNAT) were disappointed yesterday after govern-ment’s case against them was postponed.
The teachers felt one case should have been finalised and they be left with only one to deal with. There are currently two cases pending against the teachers at the Industrial Court.
In both instances, interim orders were issued calling them to show cause why the orders should not be made final on a date to be determined.
The case was before Judge Dumisani Mazibuko.
It was in court for the discharge of the interim order that was issued by the same court on June 20, 2012. The interim order had an effect of stopping the strike action that had been schedule for June 21, 2012.
The order sought was obtained at midnight after government filed an urgent application to have the strike declared illegal. An interim order returnable yesterday was issued.
However, the teachers have continued to defy the order of court in a protest action dubbed ‘Waya Waya’ (indefinite). When the first case was called yesterday, it was agreed that it be consolidated with the second application of July 6, 2012 and heard together on August 20, 2012.
They said this was particularly because both applications arose from almost the same issues, so justice will be done if they are heard simultaneously.
The second application of July 6 was postponed to August 20 by the Industrial Court on Sunday July 8, 2012.
With the June 20 application, government sought to declare as illegal, the teachers’ strike. A subsequent application was filed with the court after the teachers allegedly defied the order of court. This application was dismissed for lack of averments showing that the teachers were actually in defiance of the order.
Government was given a chance to reinstitute a fresh application, which it did on July 6, 2012. The strike action was further declared illegal by the order of court of July 8, 2012 and the matter was postponed to August 20 for the SNAT to show cause why they should not be arrested for 30 days for contempt of court.
Tholi Vilakati from the Attorney General’s offices represented government and Sabela Dlamini represented the Swaziland National Association of Teachers.
When the case was adjourned, SNAT’s Siphasha expressed disappointment that the case was postponed.
She said they would have preferred to deal with one case at a time and they did not want to have so many cases suspended upon their heads. Both cases will be heard on August 20, 2012 at the Industrial Court.
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