Vusumuzi Primary School, Inhlangano Senior Primary School and Khabazela High are among schools that are repeatedly robbed over the weekends. Teachers arrive on Monday, to find they have been broken into.
Vusumuzi Primary has been broken into four times, with a number of classrooms and the kitchen having been ransacked. In the latest incident, the thieves made off with a three-plate gas stove, knives, dishcloths, a kettle and two bowls.
As a result, the 558 pupils who benefit from the school’s feeding scheme went home with empty stomachs yesterday because it was too late to cook by the time the school bought a replacement stove.
The pupils walked around the school chanting, “we are tired of vagrants” and “we are hungry”. The teachers took to the street, where they held a protest march about their issues.
The chairperson of the school governing body (SBG), Bhekisisa Mbuyisa, said they were hoping to get some sort of security. “At least someone who will look out at night or someone who will stay at the school,” Mbuyisa said.
Ward 8 councillor Themba Shelembe said it was the first time he had heard about the issues at Vusumuzi Primary, but he was aware of the break-ins at the other schools.
“It’s important to let us know about these issues. Had they told me about this, we would have had a community meeting and, if they felt the need to march, then we would have come in numbers and there could have been an impact,” Shelembe said.
He added that there are programmes where a police officer can be allocated to a school, and he can escalate these issues to higher authorities like Police Minister Bheki Cele.
The spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, Kwazi Mthethwa, condemned any action which interrupted classes and said break-ins were a police issue.
“However, the circuit office is contacting the affected schools,” he said.
Mthethwa added there were no funds for the department to pay for security guards at the schools.