Emotional farewell for slain Westbury teacher

2015-10-23 07:09


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Johannesburg - Westbury Secondary School pupils on Thursday bid an emotional farewell to their teacher Zukisa Kela, who was killed in Rhodes Park, Kensington, at the weekend.

His Grade 8 register class battled to get through a rendition of Amazing Grace and a few poems they had prepared for the memorial service.

Their voices cracked as they tried to keep up a brave front at the Westbury Recreational Centre, where their fellow pupils, teachers, and some parents had gathered.

Teachers led grief-stricken children out of the hall. Their cries could be heard outside as teachers tried to comfort them.

Pictures of Kela hung on the walls and were displayed on the stage with candles.

The school's rugby team, which Kela coached, sat with their legs crossed in the front of the hall. Behind them sat Kela's family, including his siblings, mother, uncle, and fiancée.

Kela, his fiancée and another couple were attacked in Rhodes Park on Saturday evening. Twelve men allegedly raped one of the women, stripped the two men, used their clothes to tie their hands behind their backs and threw them into the lake, where they drowned.

Kela's colleagues sang several gospel songs. They described Kela as an inquisitive man who always asked questions and made positive contributions to the school. His death had left a void, they said.

Flowers are left at the scene of the attack. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Condolences from Springboks

One teacher, identified as Mr Mtolo, said he had known Kela for seven years. He said Kela was a great motivator who had believed in him.

"Reflecting on his death, I look at it as a rock that dropped into a pond. It created a splash... It affected hundreds around him," said Mtolo.

Kela had been a fan of the Lions rugby club, and some of its officials came to pay their respects.

The national rugby team, currently in London competing for the Rugby World Cup, conveyed its condolences to Kela's family.

"We are glad to see the support he had for the Springboks. To the school, friends and family, we send our condolences," Bryan Habana said in a voice clip played at the service.

School principal Been Robinson said on Monday that Kela's last words to him on Friday were "Viva maBokoboko viva".

Kela would be buried on Sunday.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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