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Ex-SNAT President Sibongile Mazibuko who presented cows to royalty to save teachers’ jobs,a hero.

Thursday, 29th December, 2022

Political toddlers will always blame or insult Sibongile Mazibuko, the then President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers(SNAT) for her decision to present cows to Queen Mother Ntombi Tfwala in an attempt to protect teachers who were at the verge of being fired.

Perhaps, it is important to state that some of us were not reading about the late Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini from newspapers or watching him on TV, as journalists, we used to receive calls and interacted with him at political and personal level.

As a result, we were fully aware of what the Prime Minister was intending to do, he wanted to fire the teachers and re-employ some of them so that they could lose their benefits worth millions.

Furthermore,Barnabas wanted to destroy SNAT and dissolve even its Burial Scheme worth millions, thousands of teachers were at a high risk of losing their jobs and savings.

Sibongile Mazibuko was leading a teachers union not a political party, some teachers were pro-Tinkhundla and believed in traditional structures to resolve differences.

So,it wouldn’t have been a good idea for Mazibuko to avoid seeking an audience with royalty.

We need to understand that at the moment,royalty is in power, Mswati and Queen Mother Ntombi Tfwala are ‘employers’ to both teachers and the Prime Minister.

Sibongile Mazibuko used wisdom to rush to the King or the Queen who were Barnabas’ employers.

The PM was seeking to defy a court order stopping the dismissal of teachers who had engaged in the famous Waya-Waya strike action.

As mentioned,I know Barnabas Dlamini not only on newspapers or TV, he was a Prime Minister who would go all out to ensure that his word was respected.

Before firing the teachers, a decision that was subsequently reversed by the Queen Mother after Sibongile Mazibuko and her SNAT Executive rushed to Ludzidzini, the PM had threatened to dismiss all the teachers who engaged in the Waya-Waya strike action.

Barnabas would tell ‘everyone’ next to him that he might destroy his legacy, lose respect and power as a ‘nonsense’ Prime Minister in the history of Swazi politics if he doesn’t fire the teachers because he had already made the threat.

While Sibongile and her Executive were rushing to Ludzidzini, Barnabas had already started serving teachers with dismissal letters.

Barnabas strategy was to fire the teachers and re-employ some of them as casuals, SNAT was very lucky to be led by a wise leader who was able to read the political barometer and rush to Ludzidzini Royal Palace.

Politics of this country are very complicated, very few understand the modus operandi of this regime but they are fighting the system.

It is political immaturity to even accuse Mazibuko of selling the struggle by presenting cows to the King and the Queen because she was leading union,a diverse organization.

Selling the struggle or anything means you must personally benefit something in return.

Mazibuko benefited nothing from this regime, instead, she was able to humble herself and shoulder the blame and the insults for presenting cows just to save the  teachers’ jobs. 

Political toddlers will never understand the dynamics of our politics, this is a regime that prides itself in destroying the lives of those who oppose it, Barnabas wanted to create a precedent by firing the teachers.

Mazibuko long retired from the teaching profession but she must walk tall,with her Executive members that include Muzi Mhlanga, they protected the jobs of these teachers.

No amount of insults will ever erase the legacy of Sibongile Mazibuko who led the historic Waya-Waya strike action, her subsequent decision to rush to Ludzidzini was part of leadership,she was acting in the best interest of the teachers she was leading.

Ex-SNAT President Sibongile Mazibuko who presented cows to royalty to save teachers’ jobs,a hero.
Ex-SNAT President Sibongile Mazibuko.