Assassinated Riverside High teacher laid to rest

The 33-year-old Life Orientation teacher at Riverside Secondary School was tragically murdered in Vanderbijlpark on Friday, April 05.

SEBOKENG – A somber feeling hung over Koinonia Bible Church in Sebokeng when dozens of friends, family, colleagues, and pupils gathered to bid farewell to Palesa Mofokeng over the weekend. The 33-year-old Life Orientation teacher at Riverside Secondary School
was tragically murdered in Vanderbijlpark on Friday, April 05.
This comes after Mofokeng’s bloody killing on her way to work turned into a nightmare when she was ambushed by armed men who shot her multiple times.
The assailant’s bullets sent her vehicle bowling into a ditch, where her life was cut short.
According to eyewitnesses and preliminary investigations, Mofokeng was waiting at a traffic light near the entrance of Curro Private School on Hendrik van Eck Boulevard when a blue Honda FRV pulled up alongside her.
From the rear window of her Nissan NP200, shots rang out, leaving her wounded. Following the shooting, police launched a 72-hour manhunt, resulting in the arrest of four suspects.
Among those arrested was Mofokeng’s ex-husband, Tumelo Ntholeng (34), a medical doctor attached to an international medical NGO. Speaking during the service, speaker after speaker shared stories and heartfelt memories for the teacher who was described as a flower.
Tributes made by those who shared time with Mofokeng painted a vivid picture of a dedicated educator whose passion for teaching and love for her students left a permanent mark.
Family representative Buti Mathibela echoed the same notion that the child of the deceased fails to sleep at night.
“It has been nothing but sad and hard for our family. Her daughter (Mofokeng’s four-year-old) has not been sleeping. It’s sad that the child no longer has a mother,” he said.
Best friend and colleague, Sibongile Makhananise said Mofokeng was a strong individual. As the service drew to a close Mofokeng was laid to rest at Unitas Park Cemetery.
Meanwhile, the Vereeniging Magistrates Court saw a brief appearance of the four suspects allegedly involved in the brutal assassination of
Palesa Mofokeng last Monday, April 08. The four– Mzwanele Mazeke (36), suspected to be the hitman; Jabulani Thabethe (38), identified as the driver, Tumelo Ntholeng (34), Mofokeng’s ex-husband and a medical doctor; and Pakiso Makhaya (39), Ntholeng’s cousin – have
been linked to the orchestrated murder alleged to be planned since September last year.
According to the charge sheet, the quartet is facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder and murder charges.
During their appearance at the regional court, Mazeke and Makhaya, represented by their legal counsels Jaco van Heerden and Braudley Labuschagne, made allegations of assault during their arrest.
“Mazeke was assaulted by members of the SAPS and suffered some injuries.
I request that the court instruct the prison officials where he would be detained to see a medical practitioner,” said van Heerden.
Labuschagne told Magistrate Kruger.
“I would also like to put on record that my client, Makhanya, sustained injuries during his arrest. The police assaulted him. He, too, should be provided with medical attention in prison.”
This claim led Magistrate Chris Kruger to postpone the case to Monday April 15, allowing the duo an opportunity to receive urgent medical attention. On Monday the case was again postponed to Tuesday April 16, and at the time of going to print the outcome was
not yet known.

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