Principal jailed for killing teachers

2007-12-12 00:00

A north coast principal and his two accomplices yesterday received double life sentences for the murders of two teachers following a professional dispute.

Bhekani Gumede (31), Thulani Qwabe (36) and Anton Mathenjwa (45) were sentenced to two life sentences for killing Jozini teachers Bonisiwe Mthenjane (34) and Phindile Ntuli (34), 20 years’ imprisonment for kidnapping and 15 years’ for robbery.

Two of the convicted men were sentenced to a further five years’ for malicious damage to property and all three also received three-year sentences for possession of an unlicensed firearm.

According to Hlokohloko Primary School’s absentee register, the victims were travelling together on March 14 for an interview at Maphaya Primary School and then to the Empangeni National African Teachers’ Union (Natu) office.

When they did not return police launched a full-scale search and three days later found their burning vehicle in kwaMsame. The women’s bodies were later found in a shallow grave.

It is believed that the teachers were unhappy with the running of the school and planned to report the principal to Natu and the Education Department.

When the principal discovered their plan, together with his two accomplices, he kidnapped the women and murdered them.

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