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Teacher's third arrest for blazing away with gun

By unknown | Mar 08, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

A teacher appeared in the Giyani magistrates' court on Monday charged with illegally discharging a firearm in public at the weekend.

Michael Nyalungu, a teacher at Matsambu High School, in Sifasonke village near Giyani in Limpopo, had previously been arrested for shooting dead one of his pupils in 2001, and for shooting his girlfriend and injuring her in the leg.

Nyalungu was acquitted on the charge of murdering Isaiah Maluleke, 20, after the Giyani regional court found he had acted in self-defence when the victim and his friends tried to rob him.

His firearm was confiscated, but was given back to him on his acquittal.

Nyalungu was later arrested for shooting Mihloti Chaka, a woman believed to have been his girlfriend, but she dropped the charges against him.

On Saturday Nyalungu is said to have arrived at the Rhandzavanhu Restaurant in Sifasonke, where he allegedly produced a firearm and threatened to shoot at a group of people.

Unknown to Nyalungu, there was a security company boss, Simon Mabunda, among the people he had allegedly threatened to shoot.

The teacher then allegedly robbed the restaurant owner of two beers at gunpoint.

"Before any of us could challenge the teacher he fired a shot in the air and we all dived for cover. But, being an experienced firearms handler, I managed to grab him and disarm him," Mabunda said.

Mabunda called the Giyani police, who arrested the man and confiscated his gun.

Members of the community told the police that they were used to the teacher's actions because he frequently fired shots at random in the area.

Superintendent Moatshe Ngoepe said that the teacher was under police investigation for discharging a firearm in public.

Limpopo's education spokesman, Ndo Mangala, said: "Whatever the teacher did outside the school premises is his business and therefore very difficult for the department to comment on."

The teacher was released on a warning. He is due back in court on April 2.


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