MBABANE: Simanga Mamba, the Chairman of the Teaching Service Commission(TSC) has been implicated in a fraud and corruption scandal in that he allegedly abused his powers and colluded with money-lenders to implement questionable garnishee orders by deducting owed monies from teachers without following the due process of the law.
An independent investigation by this Swaziland News uncovered that Mamba provides legal representation to various money-lending companies in his capacity as a lawyer at SP Mamba Attorneys in Manzini and later facilitates the implementation of the garnishee orders for personal benefit in his capacity as the Chairman of the TSC, in what the Prevention of Corruption Act 2006 describes as conflict of interest.
This publication has learned that many teachers were victims of Mamba's alleged corrupt activities, they discovered deductions in their salaries without being summoned to appear in court to defend themselves.
‘‘I owed about E3000 to a certain money-lender in Manzini and at one point I discovered that a garnishee order was effected on my payslip without my knowledge. When I enquired about the anomaly at the treasury department, I was told the garnishee order was from SP Mamba attorneys and was effected to reclaim monies owed to the micro lender. I ended up paying about E 10 000 through that garnishee order’’, said one of the affected teachers.
When reached for comments, Mbongwa Dlamini, the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) said as a union they are following the matter closely.
‘‘Such news have been brought to our attention, as a union we are following closely and we have comrades who have come forward to present their cases on same. We are going to leave no stone unturned. We can’t allow any form of exploitation to our members, we are going to meet the minister and the PS this Thursday to get feedback on cases we presented and also present other cases including these ones’’, he said.
The SNAT President also noted that the TSC chairman’s conduct also amounts to conflict of interests.
‘‘This is a conflict of interests, we also have allegations to the effect that he directed other members who brought complaints about certain members of the TSC to approach his law firm for legal representation’’, Dlamini said.
When reached for comments, human rights lawyer Sibusiso Nhlabatsi said garnishee orders are issued by a court of law, those involved are normally given time to respond and defend the matter.
‘‘A garnishee order is the final stage, the court issues summons first and you are given the chance to defend yourself in court. If you lose your case, you are then required to pay the money owed, failing which you are then garnished. Garnishee orders are issued by magistrates unless in this case they were obtained fraudulently,’’ said the Human rights lawyer.
TSC Chairman Simanga Mamba