A number of schools were looted and vandalised during the KwaZulu-Natal protests last week. File photo.
A number of schools were looted and vandalised during the KwaZulu-Natal protests last week. File photo.

Over 50 KwaZulu-Natal schools looted and vandalised in the protests

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Jul 19, 2021

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Another 16 schools from the uMgungundlovu District have been added to the list of schools which were damaged or looted during the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal last week.

According to the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department, nine more high schools, five primary schools, a teachers development centre and another educational centre were looted during the unrest.

On Saturday, assessment stats showed that at least 36 schools in the Umlazi District had been affected by the looting.

On Friday, the provincial department of education’s initial assessment of schools and educational centres indicated that at least 32 schools had sustained damages due to the KZN protest action and looting.

Protests in South Africa pressing for Zuma’s release turned violent last weekend, with shops looted and, in some, cases burnt in KZN and Gauteng.

National Teachers Organisation South Africa (Naptosa) executive director Basil Manuel said the union was disgusted and shocked by the number of schools affected by the looting.

He said: “Naptosa is sickened by images of a school in Kwazulu-Natal burned to the ground, and the reason apparently being that people were looking for food. Having stolen everything in the school, there could be no reason other than callous destructiveness for the school to be burned. For if it is to inflict hurt on the government, there is the ballot box to do so.”

The SA Parastatal and Tertiary Institutions Union (Saptu) echoed these sentiments.

The union’s general secretary, Ben van der Walt, said: “There is no excuse to take away the future of our children. The acts of hooliganism the country has seen this past week are unacceptable. But to destroy schools, especially those with feeding schemes, is at the next level of criminality.”

Saptu called for the government to urgently secure schools and bring an end to the unrest in the country.

The Department of Basic Education is calling on communities to be vigilant.

“The DBE calls on communities to be vigilant and help protect schools from callous acts of vandalism,” a DBE poster read.

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