Man admits shooting in class

2015-06-23 10:26
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A MAN pleaded guilty in the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday to shooting Northern KZN teacher Vusumuzi Ntombela and two pupils inside his classroom where he was busy teaching on June 2.

Ntombela was also speaker of Nquthu Municipality.

Sibongiseni Mdakane, of the Nquthu area, told high court Judge David Ntshangase yesterday that he had been hired to kill Ntombela.

He was told later that two of the bullets he fired inside the classroom at Luvisi Primary School had missed his target and had struck two pupils, one of whom was killed, and the other wounded.

He pleaded guilty to the murders of Ntombela, Elizabeth Nhleko and to the attempted murder of Bongumusa Cele.

Sentencing procedures will begin today when the state and the defence will make submissions, and/or lead evidence, in mitigation and aggravation of sentence.

In his written plea, which was read to court by his legal aid advocate, Zina Anastasiou, Mdakane said he had been approached by a certain “Mr Khambule” on May 31.

He said he knew Khambule only by sight from the area where he lived in Nquthu. “Mr Khambule required me to kill the deceased, Vusumuzi Bonginkosi Ntombela. He informed me that he believed the deceased [Ntombela] had hired people to kill him and so he needed to have the deceased killed in order to protect himself,” said Mdakane.

He said he met Khambule on June 2 and was given a 9 mm Norinco pistol, which he was to use to carry out the shooting. He was also promised R15 000 in payment.

“He transported me to Luvisi Primary School and told me where to find the deceased [Ntombela]. I went to the door of the deceased’s classroom where he taught and I called to him to come out under the pretence that I was looking for work.”

Mdakane said Ntombela came out of the classroom but when he pointed his firearm at him he ran back inside.

“I followed him and began shooting at him. I think I shot him four times. It was very quick. The pupils were running, I presume to exit the classroom,” he said.

He added that he has been informed that two of the bullets he fired at Ntombela, missed the teacher, but killed one pupil and wounded another.

“The deceased fell down and I shot him again,” he added.

He said he was arrested the same day, was found still in possession of the murder weapon and immediately confessed and co-operated with the police.

According to previous reports about the incident, Ntombela was deputy principal at Luvisi Primary School when he was killed.

Muzi Mahlambi, KZN Education spokesperson, told the media that the traumatised pupils and teachers at the school were sent home immediately afterwards. The department planned to send psychologists to the school in the days after the incident, to conduct trauma counselling sessions.

KZN Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube also condemned the murder and told News24 at the time that the death of a councillor left a “gaping void in the sphere of local government”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court

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