Teachers vent frustration on alleged spy'
MANZINI – Teachers yesterday vented their frustration from the stand-off with government over the 4.5 per cent cost of living adjustment by attacking and severely beating a man suspected to be a police officer.
This was during their mass meeting at the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) Centre. The officer was allegedly spotted recording and taking pictures of the meeting while also taking notes.
The teachers did not take kindly to having an officer in their midst, they surrounded him and assaulted him; throwing anything they could land their hands at him. He was also punched and kicked all over his body.
The incident, which lasted for about 20 minutes, disrupted the meeting’s schedule. Both the SNAT Executive and marshals failed to control the teachers as they pushed and shoved each other towards the alleged cop.
The marshals, however, later managed to rescue the man from the teachers by taking him into the SNAT Centre building where he was detained for safety reasons for the remainder of the meeting.
As at 6pm yesterday the SNAT Executive through Assistant Secretary General Lucky Malaza disclosed that 5 500 teachers attended the mass meeting yesterday.
The teachers were registering their attendance through registration papers that were circulating for the duration of their meeting.
A select committee was promp-tly tasked with identifying the man and to find out what his objective behind recording each of the teachers’ submissions was.
The select committee which comprised of St Mark’s High School Principal, Dominic Nxumalo and SNAT Editor, Simangele Mmema later reported back to the meeting about their findings.
They identified the man as Mphumuzi Simelane.
SNAT member, Siphasha Dlami-ni, reported that the committee’s findings were not clear on whe-ther the man was a teacher or not. "We have found that the ‘spy’ might be a teacher by profession but unconfirmed versions suggest that he might be a cop," said Dlamini.
Mazibuko, SNAT President, also failed to commit herself whether the assaulted man was in fact a teacher or a cop.
"From what we have gathered about this man is that the element of him being a cop overrides that of a teacher. We are told that he did study to be a teacher, but unconfirmed versions are to the effect that he later joined the police service. The SNAT Executive is however against mob justice even though we condemn any moves by either the cops or anyone to spy on us," said Mazibuko.
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