Thugs have burnt down Soshanguve High School in Pretoria during the early hours of Wednesday morning, according to officials from the Gauteng Department of Education.
This brings to four the number of schools that have been burnt down in Soshanguve during the 21-day lockdown period.
The other three schools burnt down in Soshanguve includes: Amogelang Secondary School, Lethabong Secondary School and Phuthanang Primary School.
The provincial education department said criminals were taking advantage of the lockdown by robbing and vandalising schools.
The department said in a statement that the administration block of the Soshanguve High was completely burnt down.
The department said the principal of the high school was alerted about the incident this morning by a community member and rushed to the school were the police and firefighters were already on scene.
Firefighters fought the fire for hours this morning in an attempt to save the little that could be saved during the blaze.
“We really don’t know what is happening in Soshanguve, this is to register our plea with the Security Cluster to protect our schools. We are dismayed to report about yet another school destroyed by fire, worse within few days in the same area”, said Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi.
An investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of the fire and the value of the loss.
“This is worrisome, it looks like same modus operandi is used, we are tempted to believe that there is a syndicate operating in the area, the sooner these cowards are arrested the better,” said Lesufi.
Meanwhile, the provincial education department has confirmed that a total of 22 schools were vandalized during the 21-day lockdown in the country.
The School Governing Bodies have been advised to reinforce security measures at schools.
“This is appalling and unbelievable, that we are actually on day 13 of the Lockdown, one ponders on how will the picture look like after this period”, said Lesufi.
Valuable equipment and school nutrition groceries have also been reported to be stolen at the schools during the lockdown.
“The members of the community are encouraged to continue report to the Police. Indeed, we cannot allow this barbarism to continue rob our children their future”, said Lesufi.