21 seriously injured as eSwatini protest enters eighth day

APA-Mbabane (eSwatini)

A protest action that has been raging for the eighth day on Wednesday has left some 21 people being rushed to the hospital after sustaining serious injuries.

The labour action attended by over 20 000 public servants started on Monday last week through to Friday. 

There was a break during the weekend until Monday when it resumed, with Wednesday marking the eighth day.

The civil servants are demanding a 9.5 percent cost of living adjustment. 

The government offered only 3.0 percent, which the unions rejected following the fact that their salaries have not been increased for three consecutive years.

The injured protestors were either shot using rubber bullets or stomped upon during a stampede that happened when they fled from teargas fumes.

In the first week the action was concentrated in the capital city, Mbabane where workers delivered petitions at the cabinet offices and two ministries. 

This week the strike is concentrated in eSwatini’s hub, Manzini under the theme “shut down Manzini”.

On Tuesday government, through Attorney General Sifiso Khumalo and Minister of Labour and Social Security Makhosi Vilakati, filed an urgent application seeking the Industrial Court to issue an order stopping the strike citing the episodes of violence and threats that unfolded.

The government’s grounds included the fact that the protestors would invade schools and force pupils out of class. 

This is happening at a time when some grades are starting their final year examinations this week.


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