PHOTOS: Supplied
PHOTOS: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - School equipment stolen from Menzi Primary school in in Tsakane in Ekurhuleni in Gauteng, has been found in a shop in the Johannesburg CBD, and four suspects have been arrested, the provincial department of education said on Friday.

Spokesperson Steve Mabona said 16 tablets and three laptops stolen from a new multimillion-rand school has been recovered in the shop in the Johannesburg CBD on the corner of Mooi and Helen Joseph streets.

Gauteng police also confirmed the recovery of the stolen items and the subsequent arrests made. 

"An intelligence-driven operation by detectives from Ekurhuleni East Cluster and Trio Task Team led the members to Johannesburg CBD where four suspects aged between 23 and 38 were arrested. 

"During the arrest, police recovered 22 tablets and 3 laptops believed to have been taken from the school during the business robbery," spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said. 

He added that police were still looking for the remaining equipment and that there may be further arrests. 

At the start of the 2019 school year, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the Menzi Primary School to unveil 33 new smart classrooms. 

The equipment was stolen six days later.

Two security guards were tied up and locked in a strongroom at the school and the criminals broke the main vault door to get keys for the entire school.

The department said the main areas broken into were the administration block and the IT offices, where the tablets are charged overnight.

"There is evident forceful entry on the doors of all the areas they went into," said the department.

It said items stolen included all 185 tablets for pupils, eight laptops for teachers, two data projectors, three desktop computers, a flat screen TV, petty cash of just less than R500 and a digital video recorder.

The arrested suspects are expected to appear in Tsakane Magistrates Court on Monday.

IOL and African News Agency (ANA)