Teachers in Swaziland are to march on the Ministry of Education tomorrow (3 August 2012) to demand the reinstatement of 110 teachers who were sacked by the government for taking part in a pay strike.
The Swazi Ministry of Education made good on its threat to sack teachers if they did not stop their five-week old strike and return to work.
Members of the Swaziland National association of Teachers (SNAT) are defying orders to return to work and the strike is continuing. They are seeking a 4.5 percent pay rise.
In the past month peacefully-protesting teachers have endured teargas, rubber bullets and baton charges from police and state forces in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
The government is now sending local chiefs and headmen into schools to spy on teachers. They are required to report names of teachers who are not working normally.
Wilson Ntshangase, the Minister of Education, told local media that so far 110 teachers have been fired for not teaching between Monday and Tuesday. The figure is expected to rise as information is collected about Wednesday. Ntshangase said a pool of newly-qualified teachers was ready to take over the classes of the sacked teachers.
POLICE ON STREETS AS STRIKE GOES ON
TROOPS ON STANDBY TO BREAK STRIKE