Picture: MikeGunner/Pixabay

Johannesburg - A well-known school principal from the Orange Farm area, outside of Johannesburg, was shot dead about three kilometres from his school, Gauteng's education department said on Friday. 

According to provincial education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, the murder took place on Thursday.  

Emmanuel Tshivhase, 53, of Jabulile Secondary School, was allegedly confronted by an unknown suspect while sitting in his vehicle on the Golden Highway. 

"The principal had allegedly stopped on the side of the road and was speaking on the cellphone before the unfortunate incident," said Lesufi.

 He said the killing was "disturbing", particularly because schools would be reopening next week following the festive season break. 

"The police attended the crime scene and opened a case to investigate the circumstances surrounding this gruesome murder of our beloved principal," added the MEC.  

Officials from the provincial education department had visited the family to convey condolences. 

"Mr Tshivhase was one of our renowned principals who led Jabulile Secondary School with greatness. His hard work [resulted in an] 80% pass rate for the 2019 matric exams for his school. 

"We condemn such criminal acts and extend our sincere condolences to the family of Mr Tshivhase and the entire school community,” said Lesufi.

African News Agency/ANA