Hijackers kill teacher

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Teachers at a primary school in northern KwaZulu-Natal are demanding tight security after a teacher was killed outside the school during a hijacking.

Teaching at Bhobhobho Primary School at Ngolotshe in Nongoma has been disrupted and pupils were sent home yesterday.

According to locals three unknown men entered the school late on Monday pretending to borrow a jar to fetch water from the school tap.

They said their vehicle had a mechanical problem not far from the school.

Police spokesman Vusi Mbatha said that when the teachers said they did not have a jar, the men then asked for a lift.

"It was after school and all the teachers were leaving for the day anyway. A male teacher gave the three suspects a lift," he said.

He said along the way the suspects allegedly ordered the teacher to get out of the vehicle, which he did without resisting, before they drove off.

"When the suspects discovered there was a vehicle behind them with female teachers from the same school, they fired bullets in their direction."

Thembisile Mgomezulu, 46, a passenger, was shot in the head and body. She died at the scene.

A female teacher whose name has been withheld was driving but survived without being injured.

Mbatha said police caught up with the suspects in the Ngolotshe area.

"Seeing that they could not flee anymore, the suspects abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. Police managed to arrest one of them and found him in possession of an unlicensed firearm," he said.

Police are investigating cases of murder, attempted murder and hijacking. Four men have been taken in for questioning and police believe that some of them may be involved in the crime.

National Teachers' Union (Natu) chairman in the Nongoma district, Xolani Mthethwa, said the incident had left teachers traumatised and terrified.

Teaching had to be cancelled yesterday after the traumatised teachers could not report to school. The four teachers who were at school could not cope. Pupils were sent home.

Mthethwa said the principal had written several letters to the department asking for security guards to be deployed at the school.

"There are no security guards, which made it easy for the men to gain entry."

Mthethwa said they would appeal to the department to have security guards deployed at the school when it starts on Monday.

The department had not responded at the time of going to press yesterday.