This was about six hours after the teacher, 42, had allegedly sent Lebepe, 52, an SMS threatening to put her in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
The teacher was expelled last year for having fake qualifications.
Gauteng education department spokesman Oupa Bodibe confirmed the teacher was expelled in 2015 for fraudulent qualifications.
Yesterday morning, pupils at Paul Mosaka Primary School in Pimville, Soweto, ran to safety after they witnessed the teacher sitting on top of Lebepe stabbing her more than seven times in the upper body in the parking lot.
“He broke the window and she moved to the passenger seat. He then ran around the car and caught her. He then knelt on her inside the car and stabbed her,” said a teacher who witnessed the incident.
The man then dragged her out of the car and continued stabbing her.
“Community members shouted at him but he retaliated by throwing stones at them,” said the teacher.
The West Rand mother of three was fighting for her life at Milpark Hospital where she was booked for emergency surgery yesterday.
The teacher apparently gained access to the school premises by pushing a female patroller at the gate to the ground. He was arrested after community members blocked him at the gate.
The teacher had earlier sent Lebepe an SMS at 1.51am that read: “… you must walk with the wheelchair as soon as possible for the rest of your life (sic)”.
A parent was alerted to the incident by his daughter who is in Grade 1. “She came home running. She was in tears and had wet herself out of shock. I then came to the school to control the gate and ensure the safety of staff. Everybody is still shocked.”
The school suspended its exams and sent some pupils home.
Lebepe’s family said she and the teacher had been in conflict for more than 10 years. This mostly centered around his qualifications.
“He had issues with her about her role in the investigation. He would send her death threats. It got to a point where she opened a case of intimidation against him, but the case never amounted to anything,” said Lebepe’s niece Thando Mabija.
Police spokesman Captain Kay Makhubele confirmed the intimidation case. ” We know he is an ex-teacher who was fired last year and was in conflict with the principal.”
Makhubele confirmed the suspect was arrested and would appear in court soon for attempted murder.
Family fingers department
The family of Nothemba Lebepe said the district education office knew about the conflict, but did nothing about it.
“After he got fired he would come to the school’s gate and threaten her,” Lebepe’s niece Thando Mabija said.
Lebepe’s older sister Kame Manjela said she warned her to get a transfer but she brushed it off. School Governing Body chairwoman Lerato Mmorosi also confirmed the conflict.
Gauteng education department spokesman Oupa Bodibe said: ” Please, note that this was a police case. The department has done its part by disciplining the former educator.”
Bodibe said they had provided counselling.