A principal was gunned down in his office, a teacher hijacked and a safety officer screening pupils for Covid-19 symptoms killed in two violent attacks at schools in KwaZulu-Natal.
Provincial education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said the principal was allegedly shot in his office in full view of pupils and educators.
Police spokesperson Brig Jay Naicker said the 46-year-old principal was killed at a school in Msinga on Friday.
“The suspects fled with their getaway vehicle, which was found on fire a few kilometres from the scene,” said Naicker.
“The men then allegedly hijacked a teacher who was on her way home and fled in her vehicle. Police intercepted the vehicle at KwaDolo Reserve in Greytown and six men were arrested.”
He said police seized an R5 rifle, two revolvers and 65 rounds of ammunition in addition to eight cellphones and the hijacked vehicle.
“Six men aged between 26 and 38 will be charged for murder and carjacking as well as illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. They will appear at the Greytown magistrate’s court on Monday,” said Naicker.
“As the KwaZulu-Natal education department, we strongly condemn this barbaric act as school principals are regarded as mentors and guardians to learners. We maintain a tough stance towards any form of violent crime in our education system,” Mshengu said in a statement.
A delegation of senior departmental officials were dispatched to the school to gather more information and provide support.
Naicker said in the second incident a 26-year-old compliance officer — whose job it is to screen pupils and teachers entering a school in line with Covid-19 regulations — was shot dead at a school in Vumbu Reserve, Maphumulo, northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Friday.
“The suspects fled the scene and police were alerted. Police chased the suspects together with assistance of the community. Two men armed with a shotgun and a knife were intercepted in a forest by police officers. One man was shot and fatally wounded during the skirmish while the other man was arrested.”
The shotgun, ammunition and knife were seized.
“The suspect will be charged for murder, attempted murder as well as illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition and will appear at the Maphumulo magistrate’s court soon,” added Naicker.
The firearms will undergo ballistic tests to determine if they were used in other crimes.
by Orrin Singh