WATCH: Witness tells of how she found Heinz Park teacher dead inside his car
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Cape Town - An eyewitness who had been preparing to guide children safely into the school grounds, has given a chilling account of how she watched two gunmen flee the scene after killing a school teacher at Heinz Park Primary school this morning.
The teacher, 53, has been identified as a Mr Thulani Manqoyi, a grade six mathematics educator who had been at the school since 2008.
No one has been arrested and the motive for the killing is still unknown but the community leaders are baying for blood, calling for the death penalty and a swift arrest.
Devastated parents, colleagues and Walking Bus members gathered in and outside the school grounds while police combed the crime scene for clues. A shocked security guard rushed to the vehicle in tears and collapsed on the ground.
The Walking Bus member who cannot be identified for security reasons, spoke exclusively to the Weekend Argus, about how she had found the teacher dead inside his car moments after he had been shot.
She and her shocked colleagues expressed said Manqoyi was a dedicated and diligent teacher.
“We are on patrol, we make sure the children go safely into the gates and fetch those still walking along the road,” she said.
“We were just at our point where we were taking the children in when we heard the gunshots.We then ran and when we came closer to the school grounds, we saw two people fleeing. They looked suspicious but we could not see who they were.
“We asked the security what happened? what shooting was it? Whether it was inside or outside. When we arrived at the car, as we had walked between the cars, we saw the teacher lying there, shot inside his car.
She said he was a strict teacher who cared a lot for his learners.
“For us it is a huge loss because you will never get someone like that again. He used to go out of his way for people, we are devastated.”
Fadiel Adams of the Cape Coloured Congress who also rushed to the scene said Mr Manqoyi was a good man.
“He came here to teach and today he is dead. An entire school is traumatised. But look at the situation, look at Heinz Park and understand, why a young man from Heinz Park can think so little of life , look at the sewerage here in front of the school.
“There is absolutely nothing here for these kids. The circumstances do not change, nothing else will change and we will lose more people. Today it is a fact, the most sacrificing of professions, teachers and doctors are no longer safe.
“We, the Cape Coloured Congress, call on the Minister of Police to make a fast arrest followed by speedy prosecution. We call on government to reinstate the death penalty because the death penalty has been exercised on an innocent man today,” Adams said.
Spokesperson for the WCED Bronagh Hammond said counselling had been arranged for the school community.
“The WCED confirms the shocking incident that transpired this morning at Heinz Park PS. A 53-year-old educator was shot dead (allegedly two males approached the car) after parking his car in the school parking lot before the school day began.
“He is a Grade 6 mathematics educator and has been teaching at the school since 2008.
“The WCED sends its condolences to the family, friends and school community. Counselling support has been arranged for learners and educators. The incident is most distressing.
“We have no further details on the incident at this stage and SAPS are on the scene.”
MEC for education Debbie Schäfer said she was shocked at the shooting and expressed her condolences to the teacher’s family: "I am shocked to hear of a shooting this morning that has taken the life of one of our teachers from Heinz Park Primary School.
“I offer my deepest condolences to his loved ones, colleagues and school – to lose a long-serving teacher in this way is a senseless tragedy.
“We do not have more details at this stage, but it is vital that the SAPS do everything in their power to find and arrest the perpetrator/s as soon as possible. It is unacceptable that our teachers, who are providing one of the most vital services for our country, cannot be safe at work.
“I urge any member of the public with information about this crime to immediately contact SAPS - at (08600 10111)," she said.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Andre Traut confirmed two suspects had fled the scene: “The circumstances surrounding the death of a 52- year-old man are being investigated after he was shot and killed in the parking area of Heinz Park primary school while sitting in his vehicle this morning at around 7:45am.
“ Two unknown suspects fled the scene and are yet to be arrested.
“Any person with information regarding the murder is kindly requested to contact crime Stop on 08600 10111.”