Pupils and staff at Crystal High School in Hanover Park had a rough start to the new semester when they walked into a vandalised classroom, with seven computers stolen. File picture
Pupils and staff at Crystal High School in Hanover Park had a rough start to the new semester when they walked into a vandalised classroom, with seven computers stolen. File picture

Thieves make off with Hanover Park high school’s computer equipment

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Jul 26, 2021

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Cape Town - A Hanover Park high school has been dealt a severe blow following a burglary at the weekend.

During the early hours of Saturday morning, several computer screens were stolen from the science lab at Crystal High School in Greenturf Road.

Crystal High School deputy principal Fiona Blanchard said the break-in occurred at about 4am. The thieves had entered the premises with pit bulls, attacking the caretaker and his security dogs.

“Police were contacted while they were busy stealing and damaging the property by the caretaker, who also alerted a community member and repeatedly afterwards, and Philippi police did not arrive until 11am on Saturday.”

Ten Smart monitors, keyboards and mouses were stolen.

“I hope it helps to know that those are Smart monitors. It has no hard drive, so it cannot be sold as a computer. It only works as a screen via wifi connections.”

Doors and heavy-duty locks attached to steel gates were destroyed. The CCTV security cameras were stolen a few months ago during another break-in, said Blanchard.

“We cannot easily replace this because of lack of finance and a community that does not pay school fees regularly.”

Blanchard said most learners did not have internet or computers at home and relied heavily on resources at the school to complete tasks and projects. The computers were installed by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).

“We have programmes with Grade 11 and 12 to recover lost work due to Covid-19 and the lockdown where these Smart screens are used for this purpose. These facilities are used for WCED catch-up programmes as well. The learners were just getting themselves empowered with these Smart screens.”

Hanover Park Community Policing Forum’s Yaseen Johaar said: “The sad part is it’s the same criminals whose children or family members are attending that school. This can only continue - criminals who break into schools - if their goods are purchased by other individuals, which would be encouraging their theft.

“We as community, especially where religious and educational institutions are concerned, we need to take a stand and highlight that we do not support and condone atrocities to those places that are beneficial to communities.”

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Cape Argus

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