Principal, hitmen tried for 2 killings

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

National Teachers Union members will protest outside the Empangeni magistrates' court this morning where a principal is on trial for masterminding the killing of two of his colleagues.

Anton Mathenjwa, 45, the principal of Hlokohloko High School, and his alleged hitmen Bhekani Gumede, 31, and Thulani Qwabe, 36, were arrested after they were allegedly found in possession of bank cards and cellphones belonging to the slain teachers.

Shortly after their arrests, one of the hitmen allegedly confessed to the killings of Bonisiwe Mthenjane and Philile Ntuli, both 34.

The chairman of the school governing body, who was also arrested, was later released because of insufficient evidence.

According to the police, Ntuli and Mthenjane were investigating a case of mismanagement of funds and the school's feeding scheme against the principal.

It is alleged that Mathenjwa, afraid that revelations would cost him his job, hired hitmen to kill the teachers.

One of the hitmen had allegedly pointed out the spot where they had dumped Mthenjane and Ntuli's bodies after they were arrested.

The decomposed bodies were found a week later.

The union's KwaZulu-Natal spokesman Allan Thompson said union members would flock to court to hear the reasons for their members' vicious, senseless and cowardly killings.

Thompson said: "The importance and sensitivity of this case is what will propel us all to the court.

"We expect the court to be filled to capacity."

The accused chose not to apply for bail because they feared for their lives outside prison.

They will remain in jail until the end of the trial.