Teacher, pupil dead after gunman opens fire in class

2015-06-02 14:33

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Durban - A teacher and a pupil died and another was injured when a gunman opened fire at Luvisi Primary School in Nquthu, northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Tuesday morning.

KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Peggy Nkonyeni confirmed that a pupil wounded during the shooting at the school succumbed to injuries and died in hospital.

Vusi Ntombela, the deputy principal at the school and the Speaker of the Nquthu local municipality, was shot and killed when unknown gunmen allegedly opened fire at the school.

“Our prayers are with the family of the deputy principal who died during a shooting incident on the school premises this [Tuesday] morning, and the learner who died in hospital. We wish the injured learner a speedy recovery,” said Nkonyeni.

Shot while teaching

KZN education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said Ntombela was shot in the classroom while he was teaching.

“We do not know what the motive was. We received information this morning that the deputy principal of Luvisa was gunned down in the middle of the lesson, in front of pupils. We were told that two learners were also injured and were transported to hospital.

“One pupil succumbed to their injuries and died at the hospital this morning. We are deeply saddened by what happened,” said Mahlambi.

He said the perpetrator was apprehended while he was trying to flee the scene on foot.

“He is in police custody,” said Mahlambi.

The department is calling for calm and has asked the community to let the police carry out their investigation.

“We sent the pupils and the educators home this morning. We will be sending psychologists to the school tomorrow [Wednesday] for a trauma debriefing session.

"It concerns us that a man can walk into a classroom, pull out a gun and shoot a teacher like that," said Mahlambi.

When News24 asked him whether a security guard was present when the incident happened he said: “We are waiting for a report from the police as to when the incident happened. We are not sure at the moment whether the perpetrator gained entry before school hours or if a security guard was present when the incident happened.”

‘Motive unknown’

KZN Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube condemned the killing.

“The death of a councillor who is an elected servant of the people leaves a gaping void in the sphere of local government and has robbed us of one more foot soldier in our fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment.

"It is incidents such as this heinous crime that remind us that crime and violence remains a grave challenge in our communities and that as society we need galvanise each other’s strength to isolate the criminal elements that threaten social cohesion and harmony in our communities," said Dube-Ncube in a statement.

"We do not know the cause and the motive. We are, however, worried that the killing of councillors is becoming a disturbing trend, noting that it is not happening for the first time.

"If this cowardly use of violence was carried out with the intention to subvert the will of the people it will not succeed," she said.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed the incident.

“However the members are still busy at the scene. When they return all the information will be made available to the media,” said Naicker.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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