Pietermaritzburg - The KwaZulu-Natal Education Department will be offering counselling for the pupils of Laduma High School after they witnessed the brutal murder of their deputy principal.
Deputy principal and acting principal of Laduma High School Priscilla Thembelihle Mchunu (54) was gunned down in front of her Grade 12 pupils during lessons on Saturday.
Deputy chairperson of the Laduma High School’s governing body committee (SGB) Thulani Dlamini said witnesses had told him that three young men had targeted the teacher.
He said one waited in the car while two went into the classroom where Mchunu was teaching.
“They both had guns. One stood by the door and kept his eyes on the pupils. The other approached the teacher and started shooting,” said Dlamini.
He said Mchunu was sitting on one of the desks in the front of the classroom.
“They walked out and when they were a few metres away, the one who was shooting came back into the classroom and fired three more shots at her head, leaving two deep bullet holes in the floor,” said Dlamini.
Internal issues at school
He said he suspects that Mchunu’s death had something to do with positions within the school as there were internal issues when Mchunu was elected as the new deputy principal.
“This was her 26th year serving at the school. She was a devoted and loving teacher. Most professionals in this community have her to thank, they are what they are today because of her.
“This is a great loss for the community,” said Dlamini.
The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary, Nomarashiya Caluza, said the news of the murder had left them devastated.
“We are extremely hurt and shocked. This was brutal and inhumane, especially because she was shot in front of her pupils,” said Caluza.
She urged the police to swiftly find the culprits and the motive for this brutal killing as the incident has caused panic among other teachers.
Spokesperson for the Education Department Sicelo Khuzwayo said the department will welcome any request for counselling from those who were left traumatised by Mchunu’s murder.
“The family and school are in our prayers and our sincere condolences go to her family and loved ones,” said Khuzwayo.
He said security at schools remains one of their priorities in KZN.
“We have provided security at most schools and despite financial issues we are trying very hard to ensure that all schools are safe,” said Khuzwayo.
Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said police are still investigating and no arrests have been made.