7 April 2008
TEACHER ACCUSED OF ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN
By Bheki Gama
A principal has been accused of campaigning for the coming national elections long before official time arrived.
Pauline Ntombikayise Magagula is said to have asked members of the community to nominate and support her candidacy during a community meeting two weeks ago. Her rivals and other hopefuls in the election race did not take kindly to this and registered their concern.
When approached yesterday, Magagula did not conceal her political ambitions to join the next parliament. However, she explained that Indvuna Malindane Maseko asked her to tell the meeting how she started Mnjoli high school and primary schools.
“I know that some people read the whole thing wrongly and thought I was being imposed as a candidate,” she said.
The school head said she told the meeting that she was more than ready to be trusted with the responsibility as a member of parliament, mentioning that her track record in the development of the area spoke for itself.
She cited the two schools as examples of her unwavering commitment and desire to see the area develop.
“Yes, I am ready to be in parliament,” she stated with unmatched conviction. She said she served the community over the years with clarity of purpose and was even more determined to do more in parliament.
Magagula said the Indvuna's invitation to address the people offered her with a rare opportunity to explain her commitment towards development.
“I was born and bred here and this is where I want my contribution to be noted,” she said.
She said she only related her involvement and contribution to education in the area.
“But some confused that with campaigning,” she said, recalling that at some point she received a call from of former MP Sgwalaza Magagula's brothers, who threatened to remove her as a candidate.
“He said he would tell the elections office that I was campaigning so that I can be disqualified.
“All I did was to explain the history of the schools I helped to establish and my desire to see the community develop.”
She said she was aware that the community expected her to do so much for them and was willing to do their will as long as they supported her.
She ran for elections in 2003 and lost to Magagula (Sgwalaza) by four votes.
She recalled that her rivals say she was not eligible to stand as a candidate for Dvokolwako now that she has a home at Mandlangempisi. “I know that I have a right to stand right here at Dvokolwako.”