Although his bravery nearly killed him, a KwaZulu-Natal teacher escaped with his life when he tried to save his colleagues during an armed robbery at the school.
Durban teacher Khetha Ntuli was shot in the abdomen in Buhlebethu Primary School’s main office in Inanda, Newtown C, when two former pupils and several others robbed teachers at gunpoint.
The robbers pretended that they wanted to register a child and a security guard took them to the principal’s office where they were told registration was not possible, Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said.
Mshengu visited the school on Thursday morning.
“Upon being told the learner cannot be admitted, they pretended to be walking out of the school and went to the staff room and started mugging teachers at gunpoint.”
Mshengu said the principal witnessed the incident on CCTV and heard her colleagues’ screams.
“She then pressed the panic button and called for help through her intercom. Unfortunately, as they were leaving the staff room, they met one of the teachers who was coming in to help his colleagues and they shot him and ran away.”
He said cameras clearly showed the robbers’ faces.
Four people have since been arrested, according to police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele.
Mbele said the four people, aged 19 to 21, were arrested in KwaMashu and were in possession of four cellphones taken during the robbery.
“They will appear in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court soon.”
Mshengu said the pupils would receive trauma counselling.
“Attendance is low today which is an indication that learners did not come because of the incident,” he added.
He called on communities to assist the department in fighting criminal elements at schools.
“This is a reflection of how troubled our society has become. No reasonable person would go and tamper with the future of our country. If you do so, you are an enemy of the state. You don’t belong, basically, to our communities.”
He added: “These are the battles we cannot win. We can only do so much. We need the active involvement of our communities.”
He said the school had security measures in place, including a security guard, intercoms and cameras.
“But they were still able to breach the security measures. Without the involvement of the community, we are not going to win this battle. What is happening within school premises directly affects their kids.”