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image A police officer pictured standing next to the police riot squad vehicle which overturned while chasing after striking Ubombo Sugar workers.

BIG BEND – The ongoing demonstrations at Ubombo Sugar Limited took another ugly turn as employees clashed with police officers.

Seven police officers were injured and subsequently rushed to hospital following the clash between the demonstrating employees and the officers.
The officers reportedly sustained head and body injuries after allegedly being stoned by the demonstrators. Over 2 000 Ubombo Sugar Limited workers were demonstrating outside the company administration offices, demanding salary increments.
The three-week old strike turned violent when the demonstrating workers became rowdy, prompting the police to fire tear gas and further sprayed them with water, in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

The workers retaliated by throwing stones and makeshift missiles towards the police, hence the scuffle.
Big Bend Station Commander Assistant Superintendent Aaron Themba Zwane confirmed that seven police officers were injured during the altercation.
“They were rushed to Ubombo Sugar Clinic for treatment, but most of them have been discharged as we speak,” Zwane said in an interview moments after the scuffle.
He condemned the violence, blaming the workers for provoking the police.

“Police were guarding the administration offices as always when the workers became rowdy. They cut trees and further threw stones towards the administration offices and we tried to stop them. They started the violence and we were only trying to calm the situation,” he continued.

Secretary General of the Swaziland Agricultural Plantations and Allied Workers Union (SAPAWU) Archie Sayed blamed the police for the violence.
He said if the police had not fired tear gas towards the demonstrating workers, the situation could have remained calm.

“It seems as if the police were itching to attack the workers, because I see no reason why they fired the tear gas. We have been demonstrating peacefully for the past three weeks and there had been no violence,” said Sayed.
Meanwhile, during the scuffle, quite a number of windows of the building which houses the company’s administration offices were smashed.

Asked to state the total damage suffered by the company, Human Resources Manager at Ubombo Sugar Jobe Mashwama said it would be difficult to quantify the damage suffered since a proper evaluation had not been undertaken yet.
Mashwama further revealed that none of the company employees working in the administration offices were injured during the scuffle.

Comments (9 posted):

Phindile on 02/07/2014 10:35:04
This is nt gud guy,dss company makes millions bt our Father's nd brother get only cents,aseyibukwe lendzaba tsine sisengakafuni kuba tindzandzane,ngobe nemaphoyisa sekayalwa manje...........
Mduduzi on 02/07/2014 10:47:45
This is a clear indication that workers are tired of the slave wages that they are getting paid in this country. It is a fact that cops always come into strike actions with an agenda of intimidating and beating workers into submission. Now the tables have turned, workers are no longer going to sit back and allow these agents of oppression to do as they please with them. They are going to fight back and this is going to lead to a situation where lives will be lost and I sincerely hope that when that happens, it is the lives of police officers. Sidziniwe!!!
Sine on 02/07/2014 12:54:16
Its very tense la Big Bend...umuntfu akasakhoni ngisho kutsi khushu. i hope this situation is quiclky resolved 'cause i don't think ish can get worse than this.
muzi mavuso on 02/07/2014 14:59:09
it may look rude and crazy vele but I think action speak louder than words. if sekukhulunywa 3 weeks without an agreement then option b is needed
lungelo on 02/07/2014 15:39:47
Hope ths get resolved soon before it turns to Marikana situation
Tema on 02/07/2014 16:37:19
Well, they want money that comes from the very plantations they burning. Where is the money goin to come from?? Secondly, what if all their benefits were revoked for the higher salaries. Would they be able to cover rent and water. Plus na the free food they recieve should be appreciated. And well the company might make a lot of money but they themselves are not a few employees. They shoud accept whats on the table and move on. Or else they wont be earning what they call peanuts.
Wiliam on 02/07/2014 20:39:00
Umcashi akanike bantfu labakufunako only.
mdu on 02/07/2014 21:29:31
Well,I think the directors should grant the employees the money they want like they did in the South African side.working for the same company in a poor country doesn't mean that you have to be treated like a nobody. Please give them before they burn the whole country.
Iniesta on 03/07/2014 00:03:10
Bt Swazi mathematics nd accounts if ever somthng like dat exist seem to be confusing,bus fares going up 25% bt salaries stil the same why? Oky its true violence is not the solution bt its cause by ths confusing mathematics nw is difrent frm wht they learnt sa engineers!!!

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