Teacher gunned down

The late Sizwe Yaphi was loved by his pupils.

Family, friends and pupils have paid tribute to 27-year-old Masiyile High School teacher Sizwe Yaphi who was gunned down on Sunday morning around 1am.

Mr Yaphi was described as a dedicated and loving person who was passionate about education.

Family members say he left his home with friends just after 5pm on Saturday and never came back.

Mr Yaphi’s body was found in Greenpoint, Khayelitsha, the following day by his pupils who live in the area. The shocked pupils called his colleagues and some went to his home to report the matter.

When Vukani visited the family on Tuesday, the distraught family said they want the law to take its course.

His grieving mom Zoliswa Yaphi said early Sunday morning they received a call summoning them to an area in Greenpoint where her son had been gunned down.

“Some of the family members got a call about his shooting at 3am. They came to knock (on my door), telling me something has happened to Sizwe. But the strange thing is that, when we got there, no one could tell us who had shot him, how that happened and why him alone when they were three,” said the sobbing mom.

The Community Policing Forum member said his death has reignited an outcry over the safety of people on the streets of Khayelitsha.

“I have seen crime and such things happen to others but not to me. It is not a good feeling when your son, who is God-fearing, dies like that. Crime is rampant in the streets of Khayelitsha. We have been crying about that,” she said.

She added that her son will be remembered as caring, loving, God-fearing, a sports person and a dedicated teacher. She spoke highly of her son.

“I am a single mother with two children. His 13-year-old brother was like his son. He took everything under his arm. Ever since he worked, I never bought groceries, he did everything and anything for us and the family, he had plans with his younger brother which some I do not know. Since he was young, he never fought. He was a peace loving person,” she said with tears flowing down her cheeks.

His uncle Thembile Yaphi said he was lost for words because his nephew was a peace loving person.

He said the family is battling to come to terms with the loss.

“I am yet to meet a child like him who cared for his family, even the extended family. His school children could not believe it. They flocked in here including community members. That shows how he was in the community and out there,” he said.

He added that the family is still in the dark about what could have brought them to this grief. They have heard conflicting stories about what happened.

One of the teachers at Masiyile, who has asked not to be named, said: “He was a brilliant teacher; he was kind, caring and absolutely dedicated to his pupils. He had so much life ahead of him and so much more to give and his loss is desperately sad.”

In a WhatsApp status, a pupil at Masiyile wrote: “RIP Mr Yaphi waseMasiyile udutyulwe ngaseGreenpoint”.

A friend wrote to Vukani: ”I am saddened by the loss of another innocent young teacher who was actively involved in the education of children on our streets. My thoughts are with his family, his pupils that he so loved and friends, and all those who have been affected by this tragic event. He was a very active person”.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said police are investing a murder case after a man was shot in the chest.

The distraught family of the late Sizwe Yaphi, mom Zoliswa Yaphi and uncle Thembile Yaphi are still in disbelief.
Heartbroken mother Zoliswa Yaphi said she cannot believe how her loving son died.