SNAT in bid to stop hiring of teachers
MBABANE – SNAT seeks to restrain and interdict government from hiring new teachers to replace its members who were dismissed.
The hiring should be stopped pending determination of the main application on the merits.
The main application before court is where the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) sought to stop the dismissal of its members from the Teaching Service Commission (TSC), which case they won on Friday, albeit on points of law.
The case was not dealt with in its entirety as they only dealt with the points of law, disregarding the merits.
The case was before Judge Nkosinathi Nkonyane who held in favour of the teachers’ association. The case returns to court on Friday.
The present application was launched yesterday and it was on a certificate of urgency.
Mandla Mkhwanazi represented SNAT while Tholi Vilakati appeared for government.
The case was removed from the court’s roll and SNAT is yet to file its replying papers.
Mkhwanazi, in the certificate of urgency, stated that the matter was very urgent because government had started the recruitment exercise and it was contemplated that it would finish today, and if the matter was to follow its normal course, recruitment would long have been concluded.
An affidavit of SNAT President, Sibongile Mazibuko was attached to the application.
"Since July 31, 2012, until August 2012, the respondents (government) have been dismissing applicant’s (SNAT) members for inter alia, participating in a lawful and protected strike action that commenced on July 25, 2012," Mazibuko said.
She gave a chronology of events leading to the members’ dismissal.
She said in fact, the Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education was on record confirming that over 200 teachers had already been dismissed and that the recruitment exercise had been initiated.
"I wish to state that the respondents have already started the recruitment exercise.
"I wish to state that completing students at Ngwane Teachers Training College have already been identified to replace some of the dismissed teachers," Mazibuko alleged.
Mazibuko opined that they had no other way of preventing the replacement of the unlawfully dismissed teachers than to approach the court for an interdict, that the balance of convenience favoured that they be granted the interdict and they would suffer prejudice should it be refused.
Government filed its responding papers yesterday and SNAT is yet to file its replies.
... new teachers have five-month contracts
MBABANE – The new teachers have been employed on a five-month contract, it has been revealed.
This was evident in the copies of samples of the letters of appointment (posting letters) which were attached to the application. Ten such copies were made available to the court.
Of the letters availed, three teachers were posted to St Theresa’s Primary, two to Ngwane Practising Primary and five to Manzini Central High School.
The high school teachers are to teach designated subjects whereas the primary school teachers are to teach all subjects.
The teachers are employed from July 31, 2012 to December 31, 2012. It is indicated in the posting letter which of the dismissed teacher are being replaced. The letters were signed by Mduduzi Nkambule, the Executive Secretary in the Ministry of Education.
"On arrival at your respective school, please request the principal to complete the resumption of duty forms on your behalf," Nkambule stated in the posting letter.
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