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RUBBER BULLETS, TEARGAS AT MHUBHE

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image NGCULWINI - A closer view of a huge stone (circled) which was used to break Mhubhe High School deputy head teacher’s office’s door. (C) The burnt staffroom after the chaos. The school’s main gate was also brought down, allegedly by rioting pupils. (Pics:

NGCULWINI – Total mayhem! Rubber bullets and teargas canisters flew in the air as irate Mhubhe High School pupils rioted and vandalised school property.


According to an inside source, the incident, which resulted in the school being closed indefinitely, took place yesterday morning. Mhubhe High School is situated at Ngculwini, under Mafutseni Inkhundla, about 15km to the south-east of Manzini.


The pupils were protesting against one of their teachers, who occupies a senior position in the school, whom they accused of sexually abusing female pupils in the learning institution.


During the riot, the pupils are said to have set alight the staffroom and files.
Other documents were also burnt in the process. The bursar’s office, where financial records and monies are kept, was not spared from the fire because it is also situated within the staffroom. However, police and Swaziland National Fire and Emergency Services personnel arrived on time to prevent what could have been a disaster.


Other school property which was damaged during the violent protest included classroom’s window panes, doors and the guardhouse.  A police vehicle and the school’s main gate. The deputy head teacher’s office also had its doors and windows vandalised. The chaos started at around 7:45am when the school bell rang for the pupils to assemble for their morning prayer to mark the start of the business of day.


Gathering


However, instead of gathering at the assembly square, the pupils continued to loiter around the school yard murmuring about the presence of the teacher, whom they were accusing of sexually abusing their female schoolmates. Suddenly, a group of pupils pelted the staffroom with stones and that marked the start of the violent riot as within the twinkling of an eye, smoke was seen coming out through the staffroom’s windows.


Thereafter, a number of pupils, mainly boys, joined their schoolmate by stoning window panes of the classrooms opposite the staffroom while singing and chanting slogans which they composed to voice out their anger against the teacher in question. However, the slogans cannot be repeated because they carried statements which could not be proven.


Some pupils and staff members ran helter-skelter as the stones and all sort of rubbish were flying all over the school in a disorderly manner.
Staff members, who had their cars parked under the school’s carport, were left with no other choice but to jump into their vehicles and drive out of the school as the pupils seemed to have made them their next target.

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