/ 30 January 2024

Gauteng education department to limit access to schools after two shot dead

Sithembiso Zungu
Johannesburg council chief whip Sithembiso Zungu and two others were injured in the shooting. (Papi Morake/Gallo Images)

The Gauteng education department said it would limit access to events at schools after a Rand Water executive and his bodyguard were killed in a shooting during a back-to-school event in Zakariyya Park, south of Johannesburg, on Monday.

Johannesburg council chief whip Sithembiso Zungu and two others were injured in the shooting. 

“We are going to be issuing a circular to all schools to limit activities like donations, we need to coordinate that and we need to make sure that it doesn’t affect curriculum time delivery so we don’t have events that will derail the process and put our children in danger,” Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona said.

According to police, an unknown number of people entered the Zakariyya Park community hall where a school donation function was taking place and started shooting before fleeing the scene in a white vehicle.

About 75 learners from Lehae Primary School, Olifantsvlei Primary School, Moses Marne Missions Technical School and Elethu Themba Public School were at the event.

Johannesburg council speaker Margaret Arnolds confirmed that Rand Water’s chief shared services officer, Teboho Joala, and his bodyguard were shot dead. 

ANC Gauteng spokesperson Lesego Makhubela said Joala had several bodyguards with him because of threats that he had been receiving. 

“Just yesterday [Monday] he had four bodyguards because of the death threats,” Makhubela told Newzroom Afrika. 

Rand Water spokesperson Makenosi Maroo said it was hosting an event with the Zakariyya Park ward councillor as part of its back-to-school campaign when the incident occurred.

Johannesburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda has condemned the shooting, which he said “gives us a shattering impression of the lawlessness” in communities.

“To have such a tragic incident occur in broad daylight and in the presence of community members and children is beyond one’s comprehension and belief. The senseless killing of people and officials must be brought to an end as a matter of urgency,” Gwamanda said in a statement.

Police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi said an investigation was under way into the shooting, the motive for which was still “unknown at this stage”.