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Gun shots, tear gas at Mhubhe High

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image This girl was pictured crying after inhaling tear gas.

NGCULWINI - Gun shots and tear gas canisters were fired at angry Mhubhe High School pupils after they turned violent and rioted in reaction to the alleged misa-ppropriation of funds at the school.

The shots and teargas were fired by the police who were called to the school after the pupils had burned down the school’s traditional house known as gucasithantaze.

They vandalised school property and stoned everything they came across as well as the police.
Information gathered was that the pupils were protesting following an article that was published in the Times of Swaziland’s Wednesday edition, alleging that their Headmaster Pius Dlamini had colluded with businesswoman Zokwakhe Nomphumelelo to defraud the school about E17 000.

The pupils questioned how the principal could defraud the school of its funds when the Science Laboratory did not have enough equipment.
It all began after the morning bell signalling commencement of classes rang; a faction of the pupils did not go to class. The school did not conduct morning assembly yesterday, it was gathered and when the Deputy Headmaster, Dumisani Myeni confronted them, they showed him the newspaper containing the article.

“While the deputy headmaster was talking to the angry group of pupils, the headmaster arrived and the pupils chanted unpalatable words directed to him and started vandalising the school property, forcing the other pupils out of classes in the process,” a witness who wanted to remain anonymous said. He said the pupils started throwing stones at windows of the classrooms and broke over 30 windows in the process. They then set alight the gucasithantaze before ‘terrorising’ the headmaster and his staff members who ran helter-skelter around the school premises.

The pupils also stoned the Hea-dmaster’s car and shattered its wind-screen, rear window and right window.
The source said police and Fire and Emergency Services personnel were called to the scene and they responded promptly.  It was gathered that upon realising that the police had arrived, the pupils grouped themselves outside the school and started throwing stones at the police and the Fire and Emergency Services employees who were busy trying to put out the fire which was consuming guca-sithantaze. When the Times team arrived, there were about 10 police officers running around as the angry pupils threw stones at them.

Some of the police were armed with rifles while others were armed with pistols. Gun shots were fired as the pupils gained strength and were getting closer to the school buildings which had been blocked by the police who stood with teachers and the Fire and Emergency personnel at the school gate. The pupils were not deterred by the warning shots fired in the air and police had to call for back-up  The police’s contingency plan seemed to work out as the back-up officers arrived armed with rifles and teargas canisters.

They dispersed the rioting pupils by firing the tear gas canisters. The police then drove them away from the school. Getting comment from the headmaster proved difficult because immediately after police had dispersed the rebelling pupils, he got into his damaged car and drove off.

Deputy Headmaster Myeni said there was nothing much he could say because the matter involved the head of the school. He, however, condemned the act of the pupils and said the issue was not for them but for their parents. He said they would meet the school committee to decide on a way forward on the matter.

Police Public Relation Officer (PRO) Wendy Hleta confirmed the matter and said investigations had already commenced regarding the damaged property. The PRO further warned the pupils from such acts saying it might jeopardise their future.

“If the outcome of our investigations result in some pupils being charged, their future will be in jeopardy. Pupils must, at least, spare the school if they have some problems because at the end they will need the property they have vandalised,” she said. 


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