MBABANE: Emmanuel Ndlangamandla, the Executive Director of the Co-ordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organizations(CANGO) has disclosed reasons in support of SNAT President Mbongwa Dlamini who labelled government as an ‘enemy’ when releasing his organization’s end of year statement.
SNAT stands for the Swaziland National Association of Teachers, an entity currently at loggerheads with government over the Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA), it was recently challenged by the Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku for labelling government an enemy. Masuku said just because government was in disagreement with teachers over COLA does mean they were enemies. But Emmanuel Ndlangamandla, when asked by this Swaziland News to comment on the subject matter confidently maintained that government was indeed the enemy of teachers.
He said for three years, teachers has been asking for COLA from their employer and everytime they protest for this genuine demand, government send police officers to brutalize them. The Director said as a result, teachers were now struggling financially, some are living in poverty. Furthermore, Ndlangamandla said there mere fact that members of the SNAT Executive particularly the President and Secretary General are victimised was another reason to conclude that government was the enemy of the teachers who elected these individuals to demand COLA on their behalf.
“Based on these reasons, we are left with no alternative, but to conclude that government is indeed the enemy of teachers. Any person who want to see you suffering in poverty and even intentionally contributed to your struggles is the enemy, that’s the perfect word. The Deputy Prime Minister must understand that the SNAT President was addressing his audience in the midst of tension between government and teachers over COLA. You can’t brutalize teachers and victimise their Executive merely for demanding a cost of living and then claim you are not the enemy” said the CANGO Executive Director.
SNAT President Mbongwa Dlamini wondered why the DPM was only concerned with the word ‘enemy’ and ignored the whole statement.
Speaking to this Swaziland News, Dlamini maintained that by refusing with the Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA) government was now the enemy of teachers.
“Anyone who is contributing to the current financial struggles of teachers is our enemy, we stand by our statement. I wonder why the DPM is only concerned with the word ‘enemy’ and ignored the whole statement” he said.
Responding to questions from this Swaziand News,Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku said the statement released by Dlamini should not be taken lightly.
“The word ‘enemy’ invokes a sense of fear and animosity that can trouble those who are not in the SNAT context. Why use such words when talking about COLA, in that hostile tone when there is a forum to discuss such issues. What did the President expect to happen after his statement? Did he expect everyone to agree with him and would he know there are people who object to his hostile attitude?” said the DPM.
CANGO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR EMMANUEL NDLANGAMANDLA