MBABANE: Mbongwa Dlamini, the President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers(SNAT) has been detained by the police at Sandlane Boarder Post for wearing a cap in front of King Mswati’s picture.
It is regarded as an offence in terms of eSwatini Customary Law to wear a cap in front of King Mswati’s picture and citizens are expected to remove their hats to demonstrate respect for the absolute Monarch. Dlamini was allegedly harassed and subsequently deprived his right to freely move from one place to another on Thursday afternoon during the Boxing Day. When reached for comments by this Swaziland News, the SNAT President confirmed the matter saying the police refused to authorize his entry from South Africa, they ordered that he must first remove his cap before his passport was stamped.
“When I asked why should I remove it, they showed me the picture of the King on the wall saying that was the reason I should remove my cap. They did the same thing in the morning on my way to South Africa and harassed me and now they are detaining me. As we speak, they are refusing depriving me to have my passport stamped because of that” he said.
In one of the recorded conversations between the police officer and the SNAT President, the officer whose identity is known to this publication said he won’t stamp the passport until Dlamini removed the cap.
“I won’t stamp for you while wearing that cap, just remove it and your problem will be solved” said the officer.
Superintendent Phindile Valakati, the Eswatini Police Spokesperson could not be reached for comments on the matter at the time of compiling this report.
But Sikelela Dlamini, the SNAT Secretary General said it was clear that their President was being victimized and deprived his right to freedom of movement.
“They are depriving him his right to freedom of movement by refusing to stamp his passport. They are treating him differently from other citizens for reasons best known to them” said the Secretary General.
SNAT President Mbongwa Dlamini