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MBABANE – The Teaching Service Commission (TSC) was sharply criticised for drawing a list of teaching posts that included a vacancy left by a teacher who recently died.

The teacher had died in the previous four, days, when the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT), was made aware that her position was up for grabs. The list, which was ‘advertising’ available teaching posts in the Lubombo Region, circulated within teachers’ circles. So serious was the issue that SNAT confronted the TSC. The teachers’ union, through the Secretary General (SG), Lot Vilakati, said teachers were amazed by the ‘inhumane’ practice. “Someone who had just died and had not been buried yet had her post already being circulated,” he said.


The post was advertised on July 21, 2023, just four days after the teacher had passed away. The teacher, whose post was advertised, is the 50-year-old female educator from Loyiwe Primary School in the Lubombo Region, who lost her life on July 17, 2023, after the vehicle she was driving, a Corsa Utility van, was involved in an accident with two other vehicles. The other vehicles were a Toyota Quantum and a VW sedan. The Quantum had pupils on board, among its passengers, while the VW sedan was driven by a nurse. The accident happened at around 6am at Budvodza-abukhulelwa area, under Lukhula community. 

At the time the post was circulated, the teacher’s family was busy with the burial preparations. Since she had died in an accident, there were still a number of procedures to be followed, including post-mortem and burial policies, to name a few. It was reported that the circulation of the list with the teacher’s post created a stir among teachers, to the extent that at the memorial service, the Ministry of Education and Training representatives were not fully welcomed by SNAT members. According to sources close to the matter, during the memorial service, unsavoury words were uttered and directed to the REO. Further, it was alleged that representatives of the ministry did not get a chance to speak.

TSC Executive Secretary Nhlanhla Dlamini, in responce to the concerns that were raised by the teachers, confirmed that indeed there was a post that was mistakenly advertised just a few days after the death of the teacher. Dlamini, however, explained that the list with the vacancies was mistakenly shared to other groups, without being finalised and scrutinised. He explained that during the week in which the teacher died, they were doing their routine inspection of vacant posts. He said they had instructed the regional education officers (REOs) to bring lists of vacant posts, which was somehow coincidental with the passing of the teacher.

The executive secretary then said when the REO presented the list, the teacher’s name was included. “The REOs shared the lists in a group, which was then mistakenly shared to teachers’ circles and by the time we realised what had happened, the damage had already been done,” he said.
Dlamini said it was never their intention to look insensitive. He sincerely apologised for the awkwardness that was brought about by the inclusion of Loyiwe Primary School in the circulated list.

When he was asked if the TSC regulations stipulated the amount of time that was acceptable for a post to be advertised upon the death of a teacher, he said he wouldn’t be sure but the commission acknowledged that the inclusion of that particular post was too soon. He mentioned that the list was also circulated pre-maturely as a result, it was withdrawn.

“We met with SNAT and we told them what happened and apologised,” he said.
Another issue that was raised by SNAT members was that of the advertisement of a head teacher’s post at Sulutane Primary School, also in the Lubombo Region. According to SNAT, the post had already been filled as when schools opened for the second term on May 3, 2023, there was already a head teacher at the school.