Primary school teacher Kate Chiloane was passionate about teaching and dedicated her entire life to her profession, which she often referred to as a ‘calling’, according to her fellow teachers in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga Province.
On Monday morning, Chiloane drove her car to Sedibasathotho Primary School as usual, greeted her fellow teachers and went to her classroom to teach her Grade 2 learners.
A few moments later, she lay on the floor, writhing in pain after her husband shot her in full view of her learners and teaching staff. She was later pronounced dead by the paramedics.
It is understood that Chiloane’s husband followed her to work, where they argued before he pulled out a gun and killed her.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Motsholi Bhembe said the man fled the scene after he fired two shots that killed his wife and went home where he took his own life.
Police are investigating a case of murder and have also opened an inquest docket.
Her friend and school colleague, Fortunate Mkasi told Inside Education on Tuesday that she was still in reeling shock and could not believe her friend was no more.
“I don’t believe what happened as this was my first time seeing a movie like this, I call it a movie, because you only see these things happen in movies,” said Mkasi.
Mkasi who was present when the incident happened, says she saw everything.
“I don’t feel very well because I saw everything, every time I close my eyes, I see her and what happened here. I think maybe she’ll wake up, or I’ll see her car when I’m at school or maybe she’ll call to ask me how am I doing today,” said Mkasi.
Mkasi and the late Chiloane both attended the Masilela High School where they matriculated. They were friends since 2002.
The school’s Principal Julian Mboweni said that the entire school was devastated by Chiloane’s gruesome murder.
“We are feeling frustrated because we have lost a great teacher in such a tragic manner,” said Mboweni.
She said Chiloane was a young and vibrant woman who was involved in her learner’s lives.
“She wanted to know her students, she knew that this one came from a poor family, she knew that this learner was abused,” Mboweni added.
Chiloane obtained a bachelor’s degree in Education at the University of Venda.
The Mpumalanga Department of Education said together with all stakeholders, they have embarked on a support visit to the family of the late primary school teacher to comfort them.
“As things stand learners and educators are receiving counselling services and officials will continue to support the school until such time where they are convinced that both learners and educators have come to terms with what happened,” the statement reads.
The department’s Jasper Zwane said they will be working hand-in-hand with the police and all the relevant bodies to investigate the circumstances that led to this tragic incident.
A memorial service is expected to be held on Thursday at the Bohlabela District Office.