Two female teachers have been shot and killed in Ga-Rankuwa Zone 1, near Pretoria, South Africa.
Brenda Kgatitsoe and Vumile Mkhize were murdered at their rented residence by the alleged partner of one of the women. He also shot himself dead in the room.
“According to our information, the teachers, aged 26 and 27, were shot dead, allegedly by the partner of one of the teachers, at about 3pm on Monday, March 21,”Gauteng education department spokesperson, Steve Mabona said on Wednesday.
The department has extended psychosocial support to both the affected families and the school community.
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said: “We are devastated at this gruesome act of criminality that has taken the lives of two of our youngest and brightest educator
The incident took place just a few weeks shy of their first anniversary of being employed at the Lekgalong Primary School in the township north of Tshwane.
The women had started working at the school in February 2021 after graduating from the Tshwane University of Technology. They are said to have been the best of friends.
A colleague said Kgatitsoe and Mkhize were so close they wore almost the same styles to work every day. They eventually became so close they decided to move in together.
The educator said problems arose when a man started coming around to school, harassing and stalking one of them.
The victim allegedly informed her colleagues that the man and some of her family relatives wanted to force her into an arranged marriage which she did not want nor consent to.
“I saw him parked outside the gate and went there to watch him until he decided to drive off. In the end, I advised her to go to the police and get a protection order against him. She came back only to say police could do nothing as he had gone back to KZN. It’s so sad what happened to these two young ladies. They had both just bought their cars and were really excited to be here.” a colleague said.
Kgatitsoe, from Winterveld, taught subjects including Setswana. Mkhize, who originated from KwaZulu-Natal, taught mathematics and technology.
Principal Benjamin Manicus said colleagues and friends of the deceased were still in shock.
Maniscus said what made it a “bitter-sweet” moment for them was that the women had decided to take their colleagues out for a braai when schools closed last Thursday.
“They bought everyone so much food and drinks on that day; looking back at it now, it’s almost as if she was bidding everyone farewell. Everyone is devastated, shocked, sad, every adjective you can think of. We went to the scene, and to see them lying there like that is an image most of us will not forget. I will always remember how they called me Ntate. This situation caught us napping.”
Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Mavela Masondo, who confirmed the incident said two cases of murder and an inquest docket have been opened.
“Police were called by community members who heard the gunshots inside the room. Police responded swiftly and found the room locked,” Masondo said.
Police broke the door open and found three bodies with gunshot wounds. It is suspected that the male shot the two females and shot himself.”