The South African Federation of Trade Union (SAFTU) has expressed shock and outrage at what is being called an assassination attempt on the life of deputy president of the National Teachers Union (NATU), Allen Thompson in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday afternoon

In a statement, NATU president Siphosethu Ngcobo said Thompson, who was travelling to Durban from his offices in Empangeni, was in his vehicle at the off-ramp intersection from the N2 Freeway to the M41 to Umhlanga, when he was ambushed and shot at.

Ngcobo said the heavily-armed men fired at Thompson through the window, narrowly missing his head and injuring him in the shoulder.

“After being shot Mr Thompson never surrendered but continued to drive his car as assassins were still on his back chasing him with the intention to find and kill him,” Ngcobo said.

Ngcobo said Thompson had been able to manoeuvre his car, at times into oncoming traffic and through red traffic lights, to get to the Netcare Umhlanga hospital where he evaded the gunmen.

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“The unknown assailants, who wore balaclavas, went into the hospital, heavily armed to search for him and when they couldn’t find him they went back to his car that was parked at the hospital entrance,” he said.

He added that the shooting was meant to be an assassination and that the perpetrators made away with Thompson’s documents, a bag with an undisclosed amount of money, two laptops and the bags that contained critical information which is regarded as the master key to the imminent investigations regarding the KZN Department of Education.

He said that it’s an open secret that NATU has been hard at work uncovering corruption at the KZN Department of Education.


In a statement, SAFTU has demanded that police and the Hawks must stop at nothing to catch the perpetrators, “and those who planned and organised the assassination”.

SAFTU agreed with NATU that it was a “well-planned and ruthlessly executed assassination attempt on a trade union leader”.

This attack follows other instances of attacks or robberies of trade union officials in which only laptops are stolen, and a series of politically connected murders in KZN said SAFTU.

“On the very same day that Thompson was ambushed, a prominent ANC activist and a municipal councillor from the Inkatha Freedom Party were gunned down in separate incidents.”

“It proves that there must be no let-up in the fight against corruption.”

Police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed the incident, saying Thompson had been pursued by occupants in a white BMW.

“He was carrying a large sum of cash because he was apparently on his way to buy a car,” she said.

Gwala said Thompson’s assailants were armed with pistols and rifles. She said police were investigating a case of robbery and attempted murder.