In a shocking incident that has left the community of Mamelodi in despair, a 25-year-old bus conductor of Refentse Primary School was fatally shot on his way to fetch a bus to collect pupils.
The victim, Itumeleng Mathibe, was gunned down by an unknown suspect who fled the scene in a white double cab van without number plates. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the assailant take pictures before leaving.
The motive behind Mathibe’s murder remains unclear, leaving his family and the community puzzled. His cousin, who chose to remain anonymous out of fear for her life, expressed their bewilderment, stating, ‘We do not know who could have done this. What we know is that he was going to school and on his way people said there was a white van and that it had been there for the whole week.’
However, speculation has arisen that Mathibe may have been targeted due to his knowledge of corruption within the school. The family denies having any information about Mathibe’s involvement in exposing such misconduct. ‘He never told us anything about school. He was a very quiet person,’ his cousin affirmed.
The police spokesperson, Col Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi, confirmed the shooting incident and the ongoing investigation. According to Nevhuhulwi, Mathibe was on his way to work when he was shot, but no arrests have been made thus far.
The murder has cast a dark shadow over Refentse Primary School, which has been grappling with difficulties following the expulsion of its principal due to a school nutrition programme scandal. The community, represented by Sanco Mamelodi spokesperson Kosabo Dube, expressed concern about the timing of Mathibe’s killing.
‘The motive of the killing is not known, and the police are investigating,’ Dube stated. ‘Due to Mathibe’s death, the intended meeting of the school governing body and the principal of Mamelodi schools, which was supposed to take place this Thursday, will be put on hold until further notice.’
The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) acknowledged the incident and offered condolences to Mathibe’s family and the school community. Department spokesperson Steve Mabona clarified that Mathibe was employed as a bus conductor on a fixed-term contract and not an admin clerk as speculated.
Mabona emphasized that the GDE would respect the police investigation and refrain from commenting further on ongoing matters. He did, however, confirm that investigations into the school’s nutrition programme and governance issues were well underway.
While the motive behind Mathibe’s murder remains a mystery, his family is left traumatized and fearful. ‘I am scared to go out of the house alone. You can imagine how traumatic it is for us,’ Mathibe’s cousin revealed. She described Mathibe as a vibrant individual who brought joy to every room he entered and expressed disbelief that anyone would want to harm him.