two nabbed over murder of official

A TOP education department official, who was gunned down in Mpumalanga last week, was due to conduct a series of disciplinary hearings against several school principals in his area.

Allegations are now being made that Isaac Matsoabane's murder could be related to the pending hearings.

Matsoabane, a manager on the Witbank circuit was shot dead last Wednesday while reading a newspaper in his car at about 7am. He died on the spot.

Police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi said two men were arrested on Friday in connection with Matsoabane's murder.

"One was arrested in Middelburg and the other in Vosloorus. They will appear in court today," Hlathi said.

At the time of his death Matsoabane had instituted disciplinary action against five school principals in his circuit.

Other circuit managers in the province are said to also fear for their lives as they are doing the same job as Matsoabane.

They want the motive for his killing established as soon as possible.

"Should the investigations prove these accusations as correct, it will be a fatal blow for the fight against corruption and poor performance in the education department," said one circuit manager, who asked not to be named.

Another circuit manager said they also feared that the killing might lead to whistle-blowers and officials refraining from exposing or taking action against corrupt or under-performing officials, teachers and principals.

"The police must ensure that those responsible for Matsoabane's murder are brought to justice," he said.

Provincial education spokesperson Jasper Zwane said Matsoabane was a circuit manager for Witbank in charge of 33 schools in eMalahleni.

"We take this opportunity to extend our condolences to the Matsoabane family, colleagues, and friends and to all who are affected by this sad development," Zwane said.