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Sunday, December 5, 2021

SA Records 13 School Burglaries, One Rape During Lockdown

Nyakallo Tefu

While the country has been on lockdown criminals have been having   a field day with, 13 cases of burglaries and one rape reported across the country. 

Gauteng and the Western Cape have reported six cases of burglaries each since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the 21-day lockdown two weeks ago. 

On Monday, an administration block at Amogelang Secondary School in Soshanguve was set alight, destroying files, photo copy machines, computers, printer and other items.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has condemned the criminal actions that occurred in several schools across the province during the lockdown.

“These incidents are indicative of a trend to take advantage of school holidays to rob schools”, said Lesufi. 

“We will never get tired to appeal to anyone who might have information on this unfortunate act to share same with the police. It is disappointing that, yet another school has been destroyed by fire”, said Lesufi. 

Lesufi also condemned the rape of the 14-year-old Aurora Girls High School learner who was brutally murdered after she was repeatedly raped in Dobsonville, Soweto.

“How do people sleep after committing such a barbaric, and cruel act. Indeed, this is saddening beyond comprehension. We would like to send our sincere condolences to the family and the school community. We are shattered and really feel their pain during this time of grief” said Lesufi.

It is alleged that the grade 9 learner went to a local shop on April 2 2020 in Dobsonville, and on her return home she realized that she forgot some items, she then went back to the shop and she didn’t return home.

Siphiwe Sibeko was found on 3 April 2020 raped and brutally murdered in a bush at eMndeni Extension, Soweto. 

Western Cape Education Department’s communications director Brounagh Hammond said the increase in the number of vandalism in the country occurred because the department does not have enough budget to tighten security in all schools.

“If you put ten security guards at one school you know criminals could hit the next school down the road where we haven’t put security. To put security guards at all schools across the province, we do not have the budget for that”, said Hammond.

Equal Education’s representative Tarryn Cooper-Bell says described the criminal incidents at schools during the lock down as deplorable. 

“These incidents highlight the necessity of the Department of Basic Education to have a clear plan in place that speaks to the protection of school infrastructure”. 

“It is unacceptable that criminal elements and individuals are destroying schools and taking advantage of vulnerable children”, said Cooper-Bell.

National education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the department could not comment as the incidents happened in only two provinces.  

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