Durban - The community of Silverglen in Chatsworth have been left reeling following the murder of a former principal who was killed during a violent home robbery on Wednesday night.
Gona Pillay, 63, a former Southlands Secondary School principal was stabbed to death at her home. Her husband, Logie who was also stabbed is believed to be fighting for his life in hospital.
It is alleged that a gang of men approached the couple at their house, pretending to be potential home buyers. Their home was on the market.
Andreas Mathios, spokesperson for Blue Security, said the men named a legitimate estate agent who worked for a reputable estate agency.
“This is what led the couple to letting their guard down and allowing the men into their house. The gang allegedly sat down and had an informal discussion with the couple about the property before brandishing knives and attacking the Pillays,” he said.
Mathios said Gona Pillay was stabbed numerous times in the neck and back. She died in the bathroom, while her husband, who was also stabbed, managed to crawl to the panic button and call for help.
“ER24 paramedics arrived at the scene and transported him to hospital in a critical condition where he is fighting for his life,” Mathios said. The gang manage to make off with items from the house, including the couple’s silver grey Mercedes Benz.
Captain Nqobile Gwala, police provincial spokesperson, confirmed that a case of murder and attempted murder is currently under investigation.
Meanwhile, tributes have been pouring in on social media following news of Pillay’s death.
Taking to his Facebook page, Brandon Pillay, African National Congress councillor and community member, said he was feeling heartbroken over the incident.
“She was a great woman. We have indeed been robbed as a community of such an incredible women who helped shape the lives of thousands of pupils. We salute you for your contribution,” he said.
Haniff Hoosen, Democratic Alliance MP and provincial chairperson, said Pillay excelled in her years as a teacher before moving on to her post at the school’s principal.
“I spent most of my childhood years being taught by this dedicated and caring teacher who gave her entire life to the education of children. She knew that our society and country will only change if its children were better educated and well equipped with good old-fashioned family values. How ironic it is, that a person who spent her entire life instilling good values in our society, was robbed of her life by people who could care less for those very values that she so strictly enforced,” Hoosen said.
Southlands Secondary School management has expressed shock and sadness at Pillay's passing.