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A 42-year-old teacher has been shot dead by her ex-husband in front of her primary school pupils before killing himself in Saldanha, West Coast, South Africa.


According to News24 reports, the police heard about the shooting at 07:20 on Wednesday morning and officers went to the school where they found a woman's body in the parking area.


The Western Cape police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, said they found the body of a man on a road near the school. He had a wound to the head.


Provincial education MEC Debbie Schäfer confirmed that the dead woman was a teacher at the school.


"The teacher was allegedly shot by a male perpetrator who is reportedly her ex-spouse. The perpetrator is reported to have then turned the gun on himself. Both succumbed to their wounds," she said.


"Learners who witnessed the incident are greatly, and understandably traumatised, as are the teachers' two children."


She said department officials were immediately dispatched to the school.


"The school has made the decision to dismiss learners early and a school psychologist and social worker will be dispatched to provide counselling for those who are in need of assistance, or witnessed the event."


Teachers at the school and a neighbouring school were severely traumatised, she said, and would be given support and counselling.