Principal knifes deputy

2012-05-02 00:00

A NEWCASTLE high school principal allegedly attacked his deputy with a home-made knife for being late.

The school is now without its principal and its deputy, as the one is suspended and the other nursing his stab wounds.

Thembelihle Mbele (51) told The Witness that the headmaster struck him eight times, in his head and arm, using a large blade.

His boss, Sipho Mlotshwa, went into hiding after the incident, but was eventually arrested. On Monday the Madadeni Magistrate’s Court granted him R1 000 bail.

Mbele, who had to have stitches, said the attack had left him traumatised.

He said his ordeal began on Wednesday last week when his wife, also a teacher, was not feeling well after he had taken her to her school.

“I asked the clerk there to take her home,” said Mbele.

“I had to be about five minutes late. I did not have time to report to my principal because there were many activities at school at the time.”

The following day, the principal summoned Mbele to his office, he said.

“He asked me about being late on the previous day, but he did not give me a chance to tell him what happened.

“He just took out a blade from under his table cloth. He started by punching me and I was blocking.

“I even ran into the corridor, but he followed me. There, he used his blade to attack me,” said Mbele.

Now, the traumatised deputy head does not wish to return to the high school.

“I would be happy if they could remove me from this school and place me in another in the same position,” he said.

KZN education department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi confirmed that the headmaster had been suspended.

He said the department was investigating.

“We want to find out what really happened,” he said.

A team of investigators will make recommendations to the head of department,” said Mahlam­bi.

He added that the investigation was being treated with urgency because the incident had left the school without a head.

National Teachers’ Union (NATU) deputy president, Allen Thomson, said it was worrying that Mlotshwa had been granted bail as he was a threat to society.

“We believe that he should not have been given bail, but we will allow the law to take its course” said Thomson.

Captain Shoes Magudulela said the school principal was facing charges of assault and attempted murder.

He is expected to appear in court again on May 28.

“We don’t know the motive for this attack,” he added.

The principal has since been suspended.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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