Armed robbers attacking schools 'condemned'

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Education officials in KwaZulu-Natal have called for increased police patrols in the vicinity of Savannah High School near Durban after heavily armed robbers entered the school and assaulted and robbed teachers on Wednesday morning.

The department also dispatched counsellors and psychologists to provide terrified pupils and teachers with trauma counselling after teachers were held up in the staff room and in the corridors and robbed.

It was the second robbery at the school in recent months.

Police said four armed men entered the school premises after holding up the guards. They held up 23 teachers, robbing them of jewellery, cell phones and cash.

Police spokesman Daniella Veldhuizen said the robbers fled in a car after hijacking a teacher.

"The vehicle was later recovered. No arrests have been made and no one was physically hurt."

Matric pupils wrote their examinations under police guard while other pupils and teachers were sent home.

Veldhuizen said more meetings were scheduled between local police and education officials for late yesterday.

Education spokesman Christie Naude said the situation at the school was under control.

"The school has two security guards. We have liaised with the police for more patrols.

"We condemn this act of violence. Our schools must be safe places for all our teachers and children," she said.

"Education is everyone's business. Parents, communities and other stakeholders must work together on this."

Concerned teachers and parents said yesterday that all schools in the area were becoming soft targets for criminals.

The National Teachers Union (Natu) said it was time for security at schools to be sorted out once and for all.