Hitmen also convicted of murder

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The Pongola high court has found the "power-hungry" principal who plotted the killing of two of his female teachers guilty.

His two hitmen were also found guilty. The three will be sentenced today.

Hlokohloko Primary School principal Anton Mathenjwa, 45, and his hired hitmen Bhekani Gumede, 31, and Thulani Qwabe, 36, were found guilty of the murder of Philile Ntuli and Bonisiwe Mthenjane.

The two were both 34 at the time of their murder.

They were hijacked and then shot dead in March. Their bodies were found in a decomposed state in the bushes a few days after they went missing.

The car they were travelling in was burnt out..

Yesterday the court was packed to capacity with locals, colleagues and parents eager to hear the final verdict.

Judge Jan Combrink said evidence has shown that the three acted with a common purpose.

He said though Mathenjwa was not at the scene of the crime, he knew exactly what was going on.

Quoting from evidence by both hitmen that Ntuli was not meant to die, Combrink blamed Mathenjwa saying he must have been monitoring Mthenjane's every move as she was supposed to be killed, and that he must have seen Mthenjane leaving with Ntuli on the day of the murder.

"If the plan was to kill or scare Mthenjane only, when you (Mathenjwa) saw Ntuli getting a lift with a person that was meant to die, you should have called your men to call off the plan," said Combrink.

Last week the court heard chilling evidence of how Mathenjwa plotted the killing of two of his teachers.

Relating how they orchestrated the hijacking, the kidnapping and then the killing, the hitmen revealed that Mthenjane was the murder target, and not Ntuli.

Gumede told the court that his part in the plot was to drive the car after hijacking the teachers.

Qwabe claimed Gumede pulled the trigger while he remained in the car.