Hijacked teacher bleeds to death in driveway

2014-05-23 09:05
The scene where a Pietermaritzburg teacher was shot dead during a hijacking. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

The scene where a Pietermaritzburg teacher was shot dead during a hijacking. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

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Mlondi Radebe, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - For more than 45 heart-wrenching minutes, paramedics and bystanders tried in vain to resuscitate a teacher who had been shot by hijackers outside her home in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday night.

Thokozani Madlala, 51, a teacher at Mehlokazulu High School who was also studying for a diploma in theology, was attacked by two gunmen when she arrived home from her theology class at Union Bible Institute (UBI).

Drawing up to the Gables complex - which features security measures such as a security guard, an electric fence above a wall and an electric gate - at around 20:30, she was shot three times before her attackers pulled her out of her Toyota Corolla and dumped her on her driveway, leaving her to bleed to death from abdominal wounds.

Collapsed

She tried to walk into the complex to get help, but soon collapsed on the driveway, unable to continue.

Despite the best efforts of bystanders and ER24 paramedics to help her, she died there.

ER24 spokesperson Luyanda Majija, said paramedics took over CPR from bystanders, but she later died.

Three men were taken in for questioning on Thursday in connection with the shooting.

Neighbours at the Gables in Poinsettia Road, Cleland, were still shocked at what happened.

A neighbour who asked not to be named said he heard people shouting, “Vula, vula, phuma!” (open and get out).

“Then it was gun shots, then the doors of the car banged and they sped off … We ran to the gate to see what was happening,” he said.

Another said, “We were sitting in the bedroom when I heard a sound I did not recognise. My husband went to the window to see what was happening, but he could not see them. He only saw her coming into the yard when the car had sped off. The security guard was also running away from the gate as he was not sure what was happening.”

'Heartbreaking'

Madlala’s shocked father Albert Madlala said he still could not believe what had happened.

“One of her colleagues came to see us on Wednesday to tell us that people had hijacked her, but we thought she was okay. We went to her house and found that she had been shot dead and the car had been taken."

He said it was heartbreaking to see his daughter lying dead on her driveway.

He said his daughter was a faithful member of a church, a good teacher and a valuable member of the family.

Her brother Mfanafuthi Madlala said, “She was full of love; she loved everyone in the family. Even though she was living in her own home, she spent most of her time with the family here at the family home [in Imbali 1].”

Teachers from her school visited the family home on Thursday to pay their respects.

One of school's best teachers

Mehlokazulu High’s principal Thami Shabalala said they had lost one of their best teachers. “She was a born-again Christian who had humanity, and did not compromise on the truth for anything. She was not just a teacher but a parent to the pupils she was teaching.”

The principal at the Union Bible Institute, Dr Greorge Mnisi, said she was doing her last year of a diploma in theology. “She was a member of the council. She was hard-working and faithful,” said Mnisi.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said Alexandra Road police are investigating murder and hijacking charges.

He said Madlala’s car was recovered in the Hammarsdale area and confirmed that three men were taken in for questioning

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  hijackings
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