Teacher's family speaks out about his death, as teenager appears in court

2018-10-26 17:48
A picture of slain North West teacher Gadimang Mokolobate.

A picture of slain North West teacher Gadimang Mokolobate. (Ntwaagae Seleka)

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"I feel like I have lost everything in life. My life is empty. Gadimang was everything to us. He was killed while doing what he loved," said Mokolobate.

This is the sentiment of the father of Gadimang Mokolobate, 24, who was killed, allegedly by a pupil at a North West high school last month.

Prettyboy Mokolobate spoke to News24 at his home in Miga Village in the North West on Thursday – a day before the 17-year-old pupil appeared in the Lehurutshe Regional Court.

Next to a large framed picture of Gadimang are plastic wreaths and a Grade 12 Mathematics textbook - a testament to his life as a teacher.  In the bedroom, there are heaps of books from his school and tertiary studies.

Gadimang was stabbed at Ramotshere Moiloa High School, in Dinokana Village in Lehurutshe, outside Zeerust, on September 13.

READ: Pupil, 17, allegedly stabs teacher to death over 'feeding' argument

Throughout the interview with News24, Gadimang's mother Motlalepule wept uncontrollably.

She is taking medication for depression and her family is monitoring her after she threatened to commit suicide. 

"We are spending little money that we have to buy my wife her monthly supply of medication. She is often threatening to kill herself and we keep her in sight. She loved our son dearly and feel that that criminal stole the flower she was proud with.

"As a man I have to be strong for my other four children and can’t show my weakness. This boy has torn our hearts apart," he said.

Gadimang is survived by his sisters Lerato, 29, Onicca, 25, Reaobaka, 19 and his brother, Tshegofatso 18.

Bold dreams

The teacher began his career in May last year after he graduated two months earlier with a Bachelor of Science in Electronics at the University of North West.

Parents of slain North West teacher Gadimang Mokol

"We were expecting a lot from him. He had bold dreams. Gadimang was a very strict, reliable and honest person who had a timeline in everything he had planned to do. He was busy with his honours qualification when he was killed. His greatest plan was to become a professor, " his sister Lerato told News24 

"They took him before he could realise his biggest dream of building our parents a house. He is not going to stay in the house of his dreams. Today, we are struggling to complete the house thanks to that boy," she said

The seven-roomed property needs a ceiling, tiles and furniture.

Gadimang's family members are proud of the lives he has touched.

"He was a born teacher. My brother loved education and teaching other [pupils] in the village. I remember how high school [pupils] would flock to our home seeking his teachings. He spent his spare time teaching. He was a specialist in Mathematics and Physical Science.

"He passed his degree with distinctions - the dream that he wanted to achieve. Maths and Science were flowing in his blood. He was the jewel of his university and the institution was very proud of him," she said.

READ: Zeerust teen accused of stabbing teacher to death back in court on Wednesday

Killed while performing his duties

Lerato said Gadimang was stabbed while he was invigilating an examination.

The family is calling for the teenager to be sentenced to life in prison.

"The school should have dismissed him. He had a case where he was found in possession of dagga in school. If only that boy was chased away, our brother would be alive achieving his planned dreams," Lerato added. 

Gadimang’s cousin, Thuso Mokolobate, described him as father-figure in his life.

"He might be two years older than myself but, he played a role of a father in my life. He advised me and treated me like his own child. He encouraged me to toe the line. Thanks to him, today I am doing my second year in Management Assistance at a local [Further Education and Training institution].

"He has left great void in my life. I have lost a father. I have no one to rely to because my parents are unemployed and struggling," he said.

Case postponed

Gadimang's two colleagues, who refused to be identified, spoke fondly of him and said his death left a void at the school. 

"The mood is different from what it was before although there are those few learners who need to toe the line. The school has lost talent and he [can] never be replaced. He was a reliable person dedicated to his job. We will forever miss him," one of the colleague's said. 

The teenager appeared briefly in the Lehurutshe Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The case was held in camera and the accused is expected back in court on November 9 for consultation and a pre-trial conference.

Read more on:    education  |  crime  |  courts

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