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MANZINI – Once again, lessons were affected yesterday as about 500 teachers abandoned classes to support their colleague Maxwell ‘Zondiyinkhundla’ Myeni during his court appearance.

However, the educators were taken aback to find the street leading to the Manzini Magistrates Court painted army green and navy blue by over 200 Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) and officers from His Majesty’s Correctional Services (HMCS), who were deployed there as early as 7:30am.
The teachers, who arrived separately but in succession, grouped themselves by the four-way stop by the Manzini Magistrates Court and started singing political songs preparing to march to the court premises.

However, at around 8:45am, when they took the street leading to the court house, chanting and singing political slogans and songs, the police officers and warders, who were mainly armed with batons, formed a wall across the street. In the process, they blocked the teachers from marching towards the court premises.

The uncontrollable teachers pushed forward and the armed police officers and warders’ wall retreated a bit but later on stood firm and they told them that they were not allowed to go any further from where they were.
This resulted in the gate leading to the magistrates court being closed.

The Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) national executive committee (NEC) members intervened and asked the members of the security forces why they were blocking the teacher as they had come to attend a court case.
Some senior police officers told the teachers that there was an order that during the appearance of Myeni, no teacher should be allowed into the court premises besides members of SNAT NEC. The law enforcers’ announcement seemed to have angered the teachers as they reacted by singing louder and used force to try and break the wall made by the uniformed officers.

The pushing and shoving between the teachers and the uniformed officer was stopped by the SNAT NEC members, who calmed the former down by stating that they would go and find out what was happening inside and come back to update them. As the NEC members went to the court premises, the teachers continued singing and dancing to struggle songs in front of the armed uniformed officers from REPS and HMCS.

Meanwhile, the free flow of traffic was disturbed. In fact, traffic came to a standstill and the situation was saved by the arrival of a SNAT NEC member, who wanted to drive towards the city from court and the teachers occupied a single lane, allowing motorists to drive through.
Later on, the SNAT NEC members who went to enquire about Myeni’s case came back and notified the teachers that the matter was postponed to November 20, 2018.

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