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MATSAPHA – If there was any other wrong move by another teacher besides Maxwell ‘Zondiyinkhundla’ Myeni, teachers were going to count bodies.

This sums up former Manzini Police Station Commander Raphael ‘Sikheshekheshe’ Maseko’s submission regarding the clash between the police and teachers during the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) extraordinary meeting which was held at SNAT Centre on August 24, 2018.

Maseko made his submissions yesterday at the Matsapha Town Council  before the investigation committee which is probing the alleged police brutality on protesters during demonstrations.
He said after he received a report that along William Pitcher College Public Road, there was total commotion as toyi-toying teachers had allegedly blocked the road.


He said since he was not in office, he called two senior officers; Manzini Police Station Deputy Commander Zakhele Dlamini and Crime Manager Assistant Superintendent Jabulani Madlopha to pick him up next to Swaziland Building Society. In the process, he submitted that he instructed two junior officers to go with him.

Maseko said as they were approaching the area, there was a traffic jam, but they negotiated their way to the front. He said they then saw teachers protesting right in the middle of the road and a strong smoke of fire came from where they were.
Thereafter, he submitted that he, Madlopha and the two junior officers, alighted from the car.

“After we took about five steps towards the toyi-toying teachers, they pelted us with stones and this was before we could utter a word,” he submitted.
He submitted that they decided to move from side to side to avoid being hit by the stones while going towards them.

Later on, he submitted that he then decided to pull out a service pistol, which was tucked between his pair of trousers (uniform) and right hip, thinking that it would scare the teachers away.

However, he told the committee that his actions seemed to have fuelled the teachers’ attack and he was forced to fire a warning shot in the air.
He submitted that he concluded that the teachers had prepared themselves for such an encounter as there were many stones on the road and they continued pelting them.

“Upon seeing that the teachers’ attack was intensifying, Madlopha joined me and fired more warning shots in the air,” he claimed.


Thereafter, he submitted that some of the teachers continued attacking and advancing towards them while others stopped. He alleged that he then fired a second warning shot when he was closer to SNAT Centre main gate.

“The teachers reluctantly retreated into SNAT Centre and we advanced until we were right in front of the meeting venue’s gate,” Maseko submitted.
At that time, he told the commission that a majority of the teachers were scattered inside SNAT Centre while some were along the pavement, pretending as if they were not part of the activity.

Again, he submitted that the teachers seemed to have prepared themselves as they pelted stones over the SNAT Centre gate towards them, especially him.
As he was moving side to side, trying to avoid the stones, he submitted that Myeni was walking on the pavement, towards the gate but the teachers were not pelting him with the stones.

“I then came in line with him with the aim of creating a shield as the teachers were not stoning him,” he alleged.
Unexpectedly, he told the commission that Myeni, who was about two metres away, jumped to him, grabbed him roughly by his jacket (uniform) and strangled him while his left hand went for his gun.

“Still shocked, Myeni tripped me to the tar road, came on top and pressed me hard against the hard surface (road),” he alleged.
He told the commission that on two occasions, he put the gun to the chest of Myeni while ordering him to move away from him, but he allegedly resisted.
“In my magazine, I had three live rounds of ammunition, with which I told myself that should any foreign body other than Myeni, who was on top of me, dare touch my flesh, I would finish with ‘Zondiyinkhundla’ before finishing with the other one,” Maseko submitted.

However, since no one else came near him at that time, he submitted that he exercised extreme restraint yet he was attacked by a man for no apparent reason. He added that the alleged erratic behaviour of Myeni angered him so much. 

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