Canaan Mdletshe

The gunning down of Njubanjuba Secondary School teacher Bonile Mthembu has sent shock waves through the community and the education fraternity.

Mthembu was brutally killed on Wednesday morning while he was asleep in the school cottage in Glendale, outside KwaDukuza, north of Durban.

Mthembu taught business studies and technology for grade 8 to 12.

A female teacher, who asked to remain anonymous and who also lives in the cottage, said the incident happened after midnight. She said she had heard people arguing in Mthembu's room.

"Someone demanded a gun from him and he told them he didn't own one," the teacher said.

"Moments later I heard gunshots and his girlfriend shouted for help. But I was too scared to go out until his girlfriend did so.

"We are very scared now. If people can attack a teacher on the school premises it means all our lives are in danger."

School principal Bongani Chili said the incident had affected the teachers deeply.

"The situation is very bad," Chili said. "Teachers now fear for their lives.

"But we have called a meeting with parents to see what can be done to ensure the safety of teachers, pupils and community at large.".

Residents who live near the school said they heard a woman scream for help in the middle of the night, followed by gunshots.

Grade 11 pupil Robert Gumede said Mthembu's death was a big blow to the school.

Education spokesman Ntokozo Maphisa said the department would comment later.