Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
Thieves are training vicious dogs to attack school security guards while they ransack classrooms.
The thieves are resorting to brutal tactics to get their hands on valuable school equipment.
One school on the Cape Flats has been burgled more than 20 times this year alone.
And gangs of thieves struck again over the holidays.
Pupils returning to a number of primary schools in Kraaifontein on Monday will have to start the new term in the dark.
In Scottsdene High School, thieves stole power cables for copper and to ensure the security cameras could not catch them in the act.
Nearby Parkdene Primary was robbed of nine security gates, while Eikendal was stripped of copper taps and power cables.
Terrified security guards say they are helpless to stop the looting.
“Last week I saw two robbers lift up the fence,” says Andrew Platjies, 45, who works at Parkdene Primary in Scottsdene.
“I heard them give a command, ‘Vat hom!’ (Get him), and like lightning two bull terriers ran at me.
“My feet has never carried me as fast as on that night.
“It was like I could feel the slime against my back as the dogs came for me.
“I ran with all my might.
“With the dogs just... behind me, I made it to an entrance gate and managed to get inside just in time – the dogs were so close they ran into the gate.”
Platjies called on community leader and chairman of the Wet en Orde (Law and Order) organisation Gavin Riddles for help.
“When Gavin arrived, the robbers gave one long whistle and the dogs ran to them, out under the fence again,” Platjies adds.
Scottsdene High School security guard Deon van Wyk, 27, says he stared death in the face while on duty.
“While I was on patrol I saw two thieves,” Van Wyk explains.
“One pulled out a gun and I could see him point it at me, and then he fired.
“Only God helped me get to safety in time.”
Riddles on Sunday night called on MEC for Community Safety Dan Plato to investigate the growing attacks on schools.
“Vandals want to still their hunger (for drugs) by robbing schools,” Riddles says.
“They don’t think about our children’s future.
“The increase in robberies at schools is shocking – there are daily break-ins.
“I have repeatedly spoken to Minister Dan Plato and the City of Cape Town’s JP Smith about solutions.
“We have to look at a permanent security system at schools.
“Every day school desks and other material are sold to scrap dealers.”
*This article was published in the Daily Voice