Two school robberies mar start of new school year in Gauteng

Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi has denounced two school robberies that took place soon after the start of the new academic year.
Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi has denounced two school robberies that took place soon after the start of the new academic year.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Armed robbers have struck at two schools in Gauteng in recent days, assaulting staff before fleeing with what they could loot.

On Monday afternoon, three men entered the Caiphus Nyoka Secondary School in Etwatwaunder the pretence that they had an appointment with the principal, the education department said.

When in the office, they drew firearms and ordered the principal, patroller, administrator and the deputy principal to lie down on the floor.

The principal was assaulted in front of her colleagues.

“The suspects emptied their victims’ bags and took their car keys, cellphones, and laptops. After leaving the scene, a learner from a neighbouring school brought the car keys of both the principal and deputy principal, indicating that unknown men gave him the keys and told him to take them to the school.”

A robbery also took place on Saturday at Leeuwpoort Primary School in Germiston, when an employee was confronted by four armed men, who held him hostage while they ransacked the administration block.

“It is alleged that the four unidentified intruders tied up the school general assistant with an electric cord and made him lie face down on the floor. They demanded all the keys to open all the offices, however they only managed to open the storeroom and used forced entry into the staffroom, admin office, deputy principal’s office as well as the ceiling of the storeroom.”

They stole a laptop, music sound system, grass trimmer, leaf blower, grinder, sanitisers, nutrition stock, milk packs and R250 petty cash. Worse, though, “they caused a significant amount of damage to the offices they broke into, having also vandalised the camera server and alarm system radio.”

The cost of the damage is still to be determined.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said police are investigating and the employees have been offered counselling from the department’s wellness programme.

“We discourage members of our community from threatening the lives of our employees with violence as they play a significant role in community development. Schools and their employees must be protected by the community at all costs.

“We continue to denounce all criminals who derail the future of our children by stealing from our schools. How can people steal food of their children or fellow community members? Indeed, this is sad,” said Lesufi.


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.