Shot dead after good deed

Deputy principal and teacher Dr Anton Diedericks, 57, partially visible in the vehicle, was shot dead in Mandalay last Tuesday.

A Kuils River deputy principal dropped off a sick pupil at her home in Mandalay last week… it was a good deed that got him killed.

Dr Anton Diedericks, of the Equestrian Academy of Cape Town High School, was shot and killed on Tuesday afternoon October 18 in what appears to have been a botched hijacking.

Dropping off the pupil was the sort of “good deed”, he was known for, said the academy’s principal, Zandre Duvenhage.

“This was not part of Dr Diedericks`s duties, but illustrates the kind of person he was. He did this final good deed on his own accord; and didn’t tell any staff member that he was going to do it… although the learners in the class and the girl’s family members knew about it,” Ms Duvenhage said in a statement on Wednesday October 19.

The police are investigating what “might be an attempted hijacking”, she said.

“We are all terribly shocked and deeply saddened by the incident.”

“Dr D”, as he was affectionately known by his pupils, also taught business studies and tourism, Ms Duvenhage said.

She described him as a “beloved” teacher and “father figure away from home” to many of the pupils. She said classes would go on as usual, although not much ordinary schooling would take place.

Police said Dr Diedericks had been shot dead at about 1.10pm, on the corner of Dickens Drive and Sierra Street, Mandalay.

On Thursday, staff members had “debriefed”, Ms Duvenhage said, adding that the school had arranged for psychologists from the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and trauma counsellors.

On Friday, Dr Diedericks was laid to rest in Durbanville.

“The mood was very sad at the debriefing session,” Ms Duvenhage said, adding that the school had been advised to avoid making public comments because the police were still investigating.

All extra-curricular activities had been cancelled for the rest of last week as well as a teacher development training programme scheduled for Friday October 21.

The academy’s visitors were not allowed entry at the gated Zevenwacht Estate, where the school is situated, while the funeral proceeded in Durbanville.

An admin staff member at the Curro Durbanville private school said Dr Diedericks had had two children at the school – one in primary school and another in high school.

Jeremy Michaels, co-chairman of the Mitchell’s Plein Bursary and Role Model Trust, said: “An attack on educators is an attack on our community.”

He said the trust was extremely concerned about these incidents. He urged the community to protect teachers.

“Criminals must know that education is critical to our future, and they must keep their hands off our educators. An attack on educators is an attack on all of us,” said Mr Michaels, whose child also attends Curro.

He expressed “shock” at the killing, especially as Dr Diedericks had been taking a sick pupil home.

The trust, he said, was mindful of the pain pupils and staff at the academy must be experiencing.

“We want to encourage you to draw strength from the sterling example which Dr Diedericks set and want to urge particularly the matric candidates to study hard and excel in your final exams.”

Provincial police spokesman, Captain FC Van Wyk said Lentegeur police were investigating the murder case.