Killed over school mark

2012-12-10 00:00

WITH the reports handed out and pupils on their way home, Maureen Lucky Khuzwayo was looking forward to hearing the bell ring, signalling the end of the last school day of the year.

Her mum, daughters and husband awaited her return to their Pine­town home to begin their holidays.

However, a man, thought to be the parent of a pupil at the school, ensured she would never return to that home.

The man, incensed that the pupil had failed, fired two shots into Khuzwayo’s stomach and walked off, before returning to fire a further shot into her head as she lay on the ground at the school in KwaMaphumulo, near Kranskop.

Education MEC Senzo Mchunu said the incident served to again highlight concerns about the safety of teachers at schools.

Mchunu said: “This tragic incident highlighted the vulnerability of teachers in schools.”

Khuzwayo (52), head of the commerce department at Zephania Secondary, was a teacher with 32 years’ experience.

She had taught at Zephania Secondary since 1995, when it opened.

Mchunu said he would visit the school today to establish how the incident happened. “I was informed that the gunman had waited for all the parents to leave the school premises and then asked to see Mrs Khuzwayo,” he said.

Mchunu said it is believed the man asked why she had failed a particular pupil and then shot her in the stomach and left. However, the gunman returned and shot her in the head to ensure that she was dead.

He said that the family may have lost a mother and loved one, but the department had also lost a dedicated teacher.

Mchunu said it was not clear whether the gunman was a parent or hired killer.

The dining room at the Khuzwayo home was silent when Mchunu visited them on Saturday, but for MaNgcobo Nxumalo, the mother of the murdered teacher, who could not contain her sobs.

Two of Khuzwayo’s four children — Londiwe (26) and Ningi (22) — were also in tears.

Family spokesperson Zanele Khuzwayo said the family was shocked by her aunt’s brutal murder. “She was a dedicated teacher who loved her job.

“Even when I was in need of help, I knew she was the person I could go to,” she said, adding that the family was asking questions about the issue of safety at the school.

KwaMaphumulo Municipality deputy mayor Phumlani Mbonambi taught at Zephania Secondary under Khuzwayo until last year.

He remembered her as a “humble person who was filled with a positive spirit to help others”.

“Mrs Khuzwayo’s contribution went beyond her call of duty as a teacher because she was a helpful person not only in school, even the community loved her …

“She was a mother figure to us younger teachers, who always looked up to her for guidance.

“Some of us came to the teaching profession when we were very young, so she mentored us to be the best teachers to pupils.”

Mbonambi said Khuzwayo believed in uniting staff. “Having been part of the school since it was established, her spirit kept the school progressive and united.”

Mbonambi said he had worked under Khuzwayo for six years. Not once in that period was she ever confrontational, “because she had a good manner of approach and she was not only a good teacher, but she was also a good manager”.

“A rural community like ours will miss someone of her calibre and expertise,” said Mbonambi.

Education Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said that safety at schools was the responsibility of society at large.

“We have a security guard at the school, but due to violence in our society, even that could not help prevent the brutal murder of a senior teacher,” he said.

“Society needs to respect schools and treat them as sacred places, where the minds of the future generations are shaped,” he said.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said no arrest had been made.

“Lucky”, as she was known, is survived by her school principal husband Khangelani, and four children. She will be buried this week.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.