Almost 400 SA schools vandalised during Covid-19 lockdown
Pretoria - Basic education minister Angie Motshekga on Friday condemned the targeting of schools by criminals during South Africa's Covid-19 lockdown.
Nationwide, 397 schools have been vandalised or torched, accompanied by theft, according to authorities.
Motshekga welcomed the arrests of 44 suspects thus far in Gauteng, including those found in possession of stolen property, who were linked to school break-ins in the province.
“It is really unfortunate that criminals in our communities could destroy the infrastructure of their own children. We applaud the work done by the police and we hope that more arrests will be made. We want to see the arrest and prosecution of every single criminal responsible for this kind of behaviour,” said Motshekga.
She said communities should be caretakers of government infrastructure and report criminals to police.
“These criminals must be reported to the police immediately. Let us work together to safeguard the future of our children by exposing these criminal elements,” she said.
Two arrests have been recently made in the KwaZulu-Natal province in connection with school break-ins.
The department of basic education said the damage caused due to the torching and theft in schools would have a negative impact on the implementation of the recovery plan once the lockdown is lifted.
Provincial education departments have reported “an alarming number” of schools that have been vandalised.
“In all the burglaries, learning and teaching equipment has been stolen together with other expensive items,” said the department.
The most common target areas in schools are administration blocks for information and communication technology (ICT) equipment and nutrition centres for food items.
African News Agency/ANA