Swaziland’s Minister of Education said teachers who go on strike in the kingdom today (26 June 2012) will be arrested by police.
Wilson Ntshangase said the strike over a pay claim had been declared illegal and striking teachers were therefore breaking the law.
Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
Ntshangase told the Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati, there was a court order making the strike illegal and teachers engaging in the strike were breaking the law. He said it was the police’s duty to bring law-breakers to book and police would be deployed at all schools during the strike.
He told the newspaper those found breaking the court order by striking would definitely be arrested.
‘We cannot stand aside and watch; hence will be deploying police to the schools. It is their job to enforce court orders in the country and they will surely arrest those teachers going against this,’ he said.
Ntshangase said that they could not arrest the teachers’ leadership as they needed evidence before doing that.