Swaziland reinstates striking teachers

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IOL news jul14 swazi queen AP via INLSA King Mswati II of Swaziland (right) and his wife Lagija (left).

Mbabane, Swaziland -

Swaziland on Wednesday reinstated over 200 teachers fired earlier in August for participating in a six-week long strike.

“The government has decided that all the sacked teachers should report back to work with immediate effect,” Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku said at a press conference.

A court earlier this month halted the firing of 100 additional teachers.

Most of the sacked teachers were members of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) which called the strikes for a 4.5 percent salary increase.

The teachers abandoned the strike about two weeks ago after King Mswati III Ä Africa's last absolute monarch Ä ordered the government and the union to go back to the negotiating table.

Protests have grown since last year in the traditionally peaceful kingdom, which is bordered on three sides by South Africa, where trade unions and banned political movements are calling for democratic reforms.

The country's problems are partly blamed on Mswati's extravagant lifestyle, supporting his 13 wives each in her own palace and high-flying international shopping trips, all paid for by state funds. - Sapa-AFP

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