Life in jail for teacher’s killer

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Mtubatuba - The family of a schoolteacher who was murdered by a colleague expressed satisfaction on Monday with the life sentence handed down, but also told of the financial hardship they had endured since their father’s death.

The dead man’s son, Sphamandla Nkosi, 27, said the family had been at the Mtubatuba High Court when Joshua Hlongwane, 53, Mzwakhe Thuthukani Gumede, 30, and Mkhulu Gilbert Chauque, 38, were sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 10 years for two attempted murders, five years for possession of an unlicensed firearm and three years for illegal possession of ammunition.

However, the family believe that a fourth person involved in the murder is walking free.

Enock Nkosi, 50, a school-teacher at Meyama High School in Nongoma, was killed on October 19, 2011.

On the day of his death, Nkosi had been travelling from Nongoma town in his Nissan bakkie with two passengers. At about 6pm, they were overtaken in the Siphambanweni area by a sedan from which the occupants opened fire.

Nkosi, who was driving, suffered two gunshot wounds – on the right arm and in the right eye. The car veered off the road and landed in a nearby homestead. The other occupants escaped with minor injuries and reported the matter to police.

The Ulundi Tactical Response Team, which investigated the case, found a P38 Special revolver with live rounds and an air rifle, which belonged to Hlongwane, underneath the left seat of the sedan.

Police believe Hlongwane hired two hitmen to kill Nkosi after the two teachers had an argument at school.

Nkosi’s widow, Princess Nkosi, said Hlongwane and her late husband had argued over a teaching job. Nkosi believed that Hlongwane wanted to take over his subjects and oust him from the job.

She said her late husband had been highly qualified, with a master’s degree in education from the University of Zululand.

Sphamandla Nkosi said their father had supported a large extended family of 12, with eight of the children aged from 2 to 17, and they were struggling.

Four people, including the school principal, had been arrested following the incident.

The suspects were denied bail and had been held in custody throughout the trial.

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