Thugs remove school gates in Hanover Park
Cape Town - Hanover Park residents have expressed concern over the safety of their children while at school after criminals stole the entrance gates to Parkfields Primary School at the weekend.
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the school reported a burglary on Sunday.
“Two gates were stolen, one padlock was broken and one safety gate (lock) was damaged.
“The District Safe Schools Co-ordinator has visited the school to assess the damage.
“It has been reported that a local business owner has committed to support the school with a gate and locks.
“We thank them for their support. The school has also arranged for emergency security,” she said.
Ward councillor Antonio van der Rheede said vandalism was unfortunately the reality of many schools in the area.
“I have spoken to the principal. I have also been in touch with some community members who are willing to assist.
“It's a concern when thugs in the middle of the night target our schools. The community members whose children are going there must also organise themselves to secure the school.
“Parkfields, by design, is in one of the (red) zones. It is isolated and you cannot always see the boundary.
“Any person who knows the culprits must come forward so we can have those thugs arrested and set an example to those doing this,” he said.
Justin Fortuin, who had penned an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa over crime in the area last year, said vandalism, gangsterism and crime were a culture deeply embedded in the community.
“What gangsters and vandals don't realise is that it's their own brother, sister and neighbour's future they are destroying by vandalising school property or any property that's there to uplift our community and educate our kids.”
ANC provincial spokesperson on education Khalid Sayed called on the community and parents to take a stand against school vandalism.
“These are assets that are needed for community development. It is through these broken fences and faulty gates that criminals gain entry to schools and cause further damage.”
Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said Philippi police are investigating the theft of two steel gates reported stolen from the Hanover Park primary school. No arrests have been made.
Anyone with information on the incident can contact investigating officer Detective Sergeant Mveleli Kedama at
021 690 1517/073 586 2119, anonymously contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.