British ‘suspected drug dealer’, 46, is shot dead outside South African primary school

A suspected British drug dealer has been shot dead in front of terrified children outside a primary school in South Africa. 

Simon Mather, 46, was shot twice in the head as he was dropping off his 12-year-old stepson Quaid during a school run at Hout Bay, outside of Cape Town on February 10. 

The drive-by killing at Sentinel Primary School is believed to have been a professional hit. 

Local police are yet to reveal any information about the suspect or suspects involved in the killing of Mr Mather, and have urged anyone with information to come forward.

The incident at Sentinel Primary School on Atlantic Skipper Road in Hangberg (pictured) is believed to be a professional hit

The father-of-three, who grew up in the village of Combs in the Peak District, was suspected of being involved in the city’s cocaine trade and had angered gang rivals, according to a report in The Sun

According to the publication, Mr Mather had tried to muscle in on a lucrative market smuggling abalone marine snails, a £420-a-plate delicacy.  

A source told the publication: ‘He crossed the wrong group and they took him out. 

‘Life is cheap in South Africa, especially if you fall out with the wrong people.’ 

The father-of-three was suspected of being involved in the city's cocaine trade and had angered gang rivals

His other son Bruno, 18, who reportedly lives in Spain, said that his father had had money problems. 

‘He had got into a lot of debt. I’m sure his murder has something to do with his money problems,’ Bruno said.

Speaking at the time of Mr Mather’s death, police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said that the British man was found lying on the pavement outside the school.

‘Hout Bay police attended to a complaint of a shooting in progress near a primary school, and found the victim lying on the pavement with a wound to his forehead,’ van Wyk said, according to news24.

‘The victim was transported to a nearby hospital, where he later died to to the injury sustained.’ 

Another local official, Roberto Quintas, condemned the killing outside the school, saying that it happened in front of students and teachers, adding that counselling was being provided to those who witnessed the killing.

‘The parent of a learner at the Hangberg Pre-primary was fatally injured in a drive-by shooting outside of the school gates and in front of learners, staff and parents this morning during the school drop off time,’ he said, speaking on the day of the attack.

‘I condemn in the strongest possible terms any type of violence, and most of all, public violence that will contribute to the fear and trauma experienced by children and adults in our society.’ 

Posting on Facebook along with pictures of them together, Bruno wrote a tribute to his father after his death, saying: ‘I never thought it would happen to me, I thought it only happened in movies but father know that I love you so much.

‘We never spent time together, we never lived together, but you are still my father and I will respect you forever. Maybe one day we will see each other again. Goodbye father,’ he wrote.

Mr Mather is from the village of Combs in the Peak District and used to work there for a kitchen worktops supplier.

He moved to Cape Town eight years ago which is when he is thought to have become involved with drugs. 

He married South African Sianlee Barendse, with whom he shared two young children. 

Mather was reportedly an associate of British businessman John Burns, 50, who was seriously injured by a car bomb in 2019.  

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