PROTESTERS were angered and rioted after a pupil was slapped and pushed by a police officer.
The action of the officer resulted in a commotion such that the Operation Support Unit (OSSU) had to be brought in.
The pupil, who is from Good Shepherd Primary school, was part of a group that joined teachers and other protesters at the town centre.
At least 20 pupils joined the protest but were later pulled out by officers armed with buttons and pistols. Pupils decided to join the protest, as they were also in town during the time but police officers ordered that they move out.
As the pupils were being removed from the crowd, one officer pushed the pupil down.
“He grabbed the pupil and slapped him. This was uncalled for,” said Gugu Malindzisa, the coordinator for the Swaziland Federation of Labour Unite programme.
Sizwe Masinga from NAPSAWU also condemned the action of the police and said this was the reason the protesters rioted.
Trouble started when the officers first blocked one of the roads. They ordered the children to leave and some panicked, and the officer grabbed one of them and slapped him.
Spasha Dlamini, who was representing the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) big bend branch also criticised the police action.
“What the police did to the children was victimisation and intimidation. They are instilling fear in the children and this is not good,” said Sizwe Ndlela, a teacher.
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