weeks ago, Nokuthula Magwanyana, 45, was told to step down from her position as the principal of Villa Maria Primary School in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa or face death. The word ‘resign’ was boldly written across her office wall in red and on Wednesday August 26th, the killers made good their threats by brutally hacking her to death as she made her way home from school.
Her lifeless body was discovered along Table Mountain Road in Bishopstowe. Her body was slumped out of the driver’s door of her maroon Chevrolet. The lower half of her body was still secured with a seat belt inside the vehicle.
Magwanyana’s sister Toyi Mthembu, 54, who traveled from Johannesburg to be with her family, said they were devastated.
“She was pushed off the gravel road and from what I heard from her husband, she had several stab wounds and there was a big gash on her back and it looked like she had been hacked with a panga. She was still in the car, but her body was slumped out, she still had her seat belt on. The driver’s window was broken and the door was open. There was a pool of blood on the floor of the driver’s seat.” she said
Mthembu said her sister was born to be a teacher,
“She loved and understood children, even when we were growing up she always shared her knowledge. She was a loving and kind person, how can one human being do this to another? To a woman?”
Officials believe that the murder stems from over Magwanyana’s appointment as principal at the school almost two years ago. During a briefing at the school by MEC Peggy Nkonyeni, along with Meshack Radebe, deputy speaker of the KZN Legislature and other department officials, police and psychologists, the motive for their principal’s murder was speculated.
“I believe that when an arrest is made, it should be made at this school. The problem stems from within the school,” Radebe said.
Nkonyeni said that although she strove to see women appointed to higher management positions, she had no idea that it would expose them to danger.
“I strongly believe women are performing jobs just as well as men, and I am saddened to see people elbowing them out of the way because of this,” she told the staff at the school.
“The department understands the trauma you face and the trauma that faces your pupils. The law should take its course,” she said.
Police spokesperson Constable Mthokozisi Ngobese said police have not apprehended any suspects thus far but are working tirelessly to get to the bottom of the case at hand.