Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) leader Maxwell Musa Myeni got bail from the magistrate court in Manzini on August 28. He was taken in custody by Swaziland Police on August 24 for resisting a police officer from firing at a group of teachers led by SNAT who were protesting for a hike in their salary and adjustments in the cost of living. The police had booked Maxwell for around six charges including assaulting a police officer. He has to appear before the court again on 12 September 2018.
A large number of workers had assembled at the magistrate court expressing their solidarity with Maxwell and calling for the arrest of the police officer who fired upon the teachers. After the release, along with Maxwell, they have taken out a march which culminated in a meeting at the SNAT centre in Manzini.
The Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SDSU) had also hit the streets today August 29, in the capital city of Mbabane in protest against the regime demanding quality healthcare and adjustments in cost of living.
The teachers in Swaziland under the leadership of SNAT were protesting against Mswati regime’s insensitivity towards their various demands including wage increase. On 24 August, the police had obstructed the teachers from convening a meeting and opened fire at them. One teacher called Willy who hails from Ka Budhla area was reportedly injured by the police firing. It was at this juncture SNAT leader Maxwell who is also a teacher at Lavumisa, resisted a police officer from firing at the teachers. Later, Maxwell was taken into custody by a branch of the royal police called Lukhozi.
The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS), which is currently in exile as political parties are banned in the country, has come up with a series of statements regarding the insensitivity of the Mswati government over the teachers’ demands, brutal repression of the teachers’ protests using the police and the arrest of Maxwell Musa Myeni.