Teacher assaults Macanjana over dismissal
MBABANE – Macanjana Motsa, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Education and Training, was on Saturday allegedly assaulted by a teacher and his friend over the recent sacking of teachers by government for participating in the ongoing strike action.
The alleged assault happened at the Moneni @ Matata Spar shopping complex at Moneni in Manzini.
She was allegedly assaulted by Siza Shabangu and Goodwill Sibiya. The two were arrested and charged with assault. Motsa, who is a former Government Press Secretary, was accused of being one of the people responsible for the dismissals of the teachers. During the sacking of teachers last week, Motsa visited some of the schools where she handed letters to teachers who had been dismissed.
In an earlier interview with this publication last week, she also commented on the suspension of teachers before they were sacked. She pointed to the Teaching Service Regulations which authorise the schools manager to take action against teachers who face criminal charges. On Saturday, it is reported that Motsa experienced the unexpected when the teacher and a friend, said to be an electrician, allegedly pounced on her.
Shabangu and Sibiya are said to have verbally assaulted Motsa, threatening to burn her to death for what she had done to the country’s teachers.
However, she is reported to have survived the onslaught and was able to quickly call the police who arrived at the complex where the two were then arrested. When called yesterday, Motsa refused to comment saying she was still traumatised by what had happened.
"No comment," she said, but indicated that the people who attacked her were very angry. Government Press Secretary, Percy Simelane, also asked not to comment on the matter as he did not know anything about it.
"Not aware. No comment," he responded through a text message.
Police Deputy PRO, Assistant Superintendent Stephen Dlamini, said two people had been arrested over the attack and they were expected to appear in court yesterday. Minister of Education and Training, Wilson Ntshangase, said even though he had not received a formal report on the attack, what had happened to Motsa was ‘not good’,
"It is not a good thing to fight. Yes, it is bad when someone is fired (from work) but government follows the law when firing people. It is only the courts that have to decide if that was legal or not. If you feel you were unfairly dismissed, you have to approach the courts, not to attack other people," he said.
The minister said what the Swaziland National Association of Teachers had done by seeking the court’s intervention was a good thing as opposed to resorting to violence.
"Let us not fight each other. Let us follow the law and not take the law into our hands," Ntshangase added.
The dismissals of teachers happened after they embarked on the indefinite strike, dubbed ‘Waya Waya’, which was followed by government issuing an ultimatum that they return to class or face dismissals.
Last Monday, government got the ball rolling by suspending 18 teachers and identified those who were to be fired.
On Tuesday, 110 teachers had been dismissed and this was followed, on Wednesday, by the dismissal of SNAT President Sibongile Mazibuko and two other executive members. This prompted SNAT to go to court and successfully challenge the dismissals.
Am not encouraging physical abuse at all ,but it was always going to be heading this way...and sure worst to come, thanks to our selfish government .
December 8, 2011, 6:00 am, michelle lee (email@example.com)
It seems like our judiciary is fighting agains the country's citizens. I mean, this fines are ridiculous. This E5000 bail is just too high for just a verbal assault or something especially the one that happened to Macanjana. I just wonder what so special about her. This is really ridiculous. I dont think such fines are acceptable to the citizens after the dat light robery to the poor through the introduction of new taxes. no bekunene!! Indeed vele sekuyakhanyana?? I mean even the recent nasty accident which left 14 people dead, I strongly believe that it came as a result of these heavy fines. I am not saying who was wrong or not between the two parties (the escaping kombei driver and the chasing police officers) but I strongly believe that if it was not this heavy fines, we would be talking something different between this accident. Government and her watch dogs (cops) must stop treating the citizens of Swaziland like their prey's in their hunting ground, but they should strive to make Swaziland a peaceful country that stick to its constitution in whatever political, social or economical challenges are faced.
December 8, 2011, 6:01 am, Zinjazikhamunwabu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
something need to be done here because a lot of this ministry's employees are still to get threatened for something which they are being instructed by their superiors to do it; government must solve this problem before its too late because she is the one who started it; lafa elihle kakhulu maswaati lamahle
December 8, 2011, 6:01 am, Mehlwengwadla Nkonyane Mahikeng 2745 (email@example.com)
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