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MBABANE – “The TSC was biased.” This was the observation of dismissed Mbekelweni High School Head teacher Mduduzi Bhembe on the ruling made by the Teaching Service Commission against him.

The commission dismissed Bhembe from the teaching service after finding him guilty on eight counts of misconduct.
His dismissal, according to the TSC, was with effect from June 25, 2018.

Bhembe is also the former President of Eswatini Principals Association, formerly known as the Swaziland Principals Association (SWAPA).
Among other charges, he was found guilty of having assisted Nontsikelelo Dlamini, who was a private candidate in the school, to copy from a Physical Science Paper III answer script belonging to Mlungisi Machawe Vilakati after the paper had been written.

He was also found guilty of forging a signature of one of the invigilators, Ephraim Khumalo, in the Mathematics Paper I and III and Physics’ Science Paper III examination answer scripts envelopes.


Bhembe was further found guilty of having used Malungisa MacDonald Seyama and Jabulani Dlamini, both teachers of Information Technology (IT), as invigilators for Physical Science Paper I  yet they were not trained to invigilate by the Examination Council of Eswatini.
This is said to have happened during the 2012 SGSE Examination.
Bhembe has since taken the TSC to the High Court where he is seeking an order reviewing and setting aside the decision of the commission to dismiss him.
He told the court that the TSC allegedly failed to apply its mind to the issues before it arrived at the decision to terminate his services.
Bhembe, in his founding affidavit, submitted that the evidence of the security guard, Makhosini Fakudze, was not consistent.
He said it was critical for the TSC to highlight in its ruling how it handled the allegedly conflicting versions presented by the security guard.
Bhembe informed the court the evidence Fakudze gave in the confession he recorded before a magistrate was different from his oral evidence.
“The commission never interrogated this and I submit if there was any doubt on the credibility of the witness, I am advised the benefit was to be given to me as the accused.”
He submitted that the TSC should have stated its reasons to find Fakudze’s oral evidence to be truthful against what he said in his confession.
Bhembe said it would have been better for Fakudze to disown the confession when he gave his evidence before the TSC.
He stated that it was mind-boggling for the TSC to mention that the version given by Fakudze was very close to the events that took place at the school.
This, according to Bhembe, allegedly showed that the commission’s version of events indicated that it had a pre-conceived decision resulting in bias on its part.
Fakudze told the commission that he had been engaged by Bhembe to take the blame for his own protection.
Bhembe was also convicted of opening sealed envelopes containing answer scripts. He told the court that the TSC allegedly did not show the basis upon which it found him guilty on this charge.
On being found guilty of forging the signature of one of the invigilators, Bhembe informed the court that the handwriting expert stated that he could not say that he was the one who forged the signature.
He alleged that the TSC did not call the invigilator to give evidence making it not clear how it arrived at its decision.
On the charge of using the two teachers who were untrained as invigilators and being convicted on it, Bhembe alleged that the TSC did not mention any evidence in its ruling.
He alleged that no evidence was led and despite that the two teachers were still at the school, they were not called to testify. He maintained that he trained the teachers to invigilate.
The former SWAPA president further stated that one of the commissioners at the hearing felt that this charge should fall off, but he was still found guilty on it.
“This is yet another scenario of showing the lack of application of its mind on the part of the commission,” Bhembe submitted. In respect of the charge of allegedly allowing and assisting Dlamini to copy, Bhembe submitted that before he was charged, at the instance of the school grantee, he was directed to file a report and state that indeed the candidate copied with the assistance of the security guard. The pupil who was allegedly allowed by Bhembe to copy said she was afraid to reveal the person who assisted her to copy because that individual would lose his job.
She also said she was assisted by a security guard who had keys to the head teacher’s office.
Bhembe mentioned that the pupil should have been called to give a proper version of what transpired and not rely on hearsay evidence.
Bhembe said he was implicated by the security guard who at the time was arrested in South Africa for rape.
Initially, he was suspended by the Ministry of Education and Training on October 5, 2015 following 48 complaints of alleged misconduct against him.
According to the Ministry of Education and Training, in most instances, he would take scripts of one Machawe Vilakati, who was a full-time pupil, and give them to the female private candidate to copy.

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