Gunned down Rand Water boss was ‘heavily guarded due to threats on his life’
Teboho Joala and his protector died in the assassination-style shooting
A Rand Water executive who was gunned down during a back-to-school event in Zakariyya Park, south of Johannesburg, had bodyguards due to previous death threats.
Rand Water chief shared services officer Teboho Joala was one of two people who died after a group of men entered the hall where the entity was hosting a function for a school donation and started shooting. The attackers fled in a getaway vehicle.
“Two people were declared dead on the scene while three were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds,” said police spokesperson Col Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi.
City of Johannesburg chief whip Sithembiso Zungu was among the wounded and is recovering in hospital.
The motive for the shooting is unknown at this stage.
Rand Water executives were in the area for the handover of 1,670 pairs of school shoes and uniforms to pupils from eight schools. They were joined by the chief whip, who is also the ward councillor for the area, as the event was hosted in conjunction with the city.
Speaker Margaret Arnolds confirmed to TimesLIVE the second person killed was Joala's protector.
“The chief whip is recovering in hospital. I don't have [much] information but I know he's stable. As soon as there is more information, we will release it,” she said.
“He [Zungu] did not have his protectors with him because the event was in the area where he lived and a street or two away from home so he could walk there.”
This was confirmed by ANC Gauteng spokesperson Lesego Makhubela, who said Joala had several protectors with him at the time of his death.
“He was heavily guarded because of threats on his life. Yesterday [Monday] he had around four bodyguards because of the death threats and one bodyguard was fatally shot. Two are fighting for their lives in hospital,” he told Newzroom Afrika.
The horrifying manner in which the shooting took place is cause for alarm. That such a heinous crime could occur, with young children in the firing line, underscores the alarming rate of crime and violence within our communitiesMichael Sun, DA shadow MMC for public safety
The ANC greater Tshwane region, where Joala once served as regional spokesperson, described Joala as a “beacon of selfless service to the people of Tshwane, and his untimely departure has left an irreplaceable void in our hearts and in the ANC.
“As the spokesperson of the ANC in the region, Joala dedicated himself wholeheartedly to the cause of advancing the principles and values of our organisation. His unwavering commitment to the betterment of Tshwane and its people was evident in every aspect of his work,” the party said.
A friend of Joala, Bafuze Yabo, said they met in 2011 within the “political structures of the ANC” in Tshwane.
“We interacted regularly during events of the ANC, meetings and rallies. We started being friends within that context and working together quite a lot,” said Yabo
“He was very intelligent, studious and diligent. He was very kind and considerate. He never fought with people. He was your peacemaker.”
Yabo said Joala was married with three children.
Joala joined Rand Water in 2019 as general manager for communications and stakeholder management. He was appointed to his current position in 2021.
The DA in Johannesburg said it was “shocked and appalled” by the “assassin-style” shooting.
“While details of the incident are unknown, the horrifying manner in which the shooting took place is cause for alarm. That such a heinous crime could occur, with young children in the firing line, underscores the alarming rate of crime and violence within our communities,” said DA shadow MMC for public safety Michael Sun.
The Gauteng department of education said it would provide “psychosocial support to all affected schools to provide necessary trauma counselling”.
A manhunt for the shooters has been launched. No arrests have been made yet.
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