The Public Service Association believed the guard was killed to prevent him from exposing death threats being made against some teachers at the school. Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
The Public Service Association believed the guard was killed to prevent him from exposing death threats being made against some teachers at the school. Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

Teachers live in fear after Umlazi ComTech security guard killed

By Sne Masuku Time of article published May 11, 2021

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DURBAN - THERE is no end to the chaos at Umlazi Comprehensive Technical High School (Comtech); this time, the Public Service Association (PSA) is questioning the murder of a school security guard.

The union said it believed the guard was killed to prevent him from exposing death threats being made against some teachers at the school.

The PSA said security guard Henry Mbhele witnessed an incident in which the school principal allegedly threatened employees. The guard was murdered at his Port Shepstone home on May 7.

His killing took place in the wake of having signed an affidavit as a witness in the matter, the PSA said.

Teachers who were against the leadership style of the principal had submitted a memorandum of grievances to the Education Department two months ago, and had become victims of assaults and death threats, according to the PSA.

Some have downed tools several times this year, protesting against the alleged abuse of power by the school management. The union appealed for the department to intervene to restore peace and stability at the school.

Allegations by certain teachers include the abuse of power, maladministration, appointment irregularities, and unfair dismissal of staff who disagreed with the principal.

PSA provincial manager Mlungisi Ndlovu said the teachers were receiving death threats.

“PSA members at the school have been threatened and are being followed by hit men. The brutal murder of the witness in this matter is a cause for concern. The PSA calls for an investigation team to be appointed so the perpetrators can be brought to book.”

He said some of the teachers feared going to work and others had left their homes.

“Teachers are now questioning the link between Mbhele’s murder and the fact that he was assisting the teachers who were victims by testifying in their favour. There were teachers who were threatened and Mbhele was going to be a witness to this.

“One of the teachers was assaulted by the ex-school governing body (SGB) chairperson,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu said the PSA had previously alerted MEC Kwazi Mshengu and the head of department about the tensions at the school. However, their petition containing serious allegations against the principal had been ignored.

Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said they were aware of the incident, and offered his condolences to the Mbhele family.

“We pass our condolences to the Mbhele family for losing their son, a father, husband and brother who was reportedly murdered,” he said.

Mahlambi said matters of this kind were left to the police to deal with.

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Daily News

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