Cape Town - New books, which were yet to be unpacked, were damaged when burglars broke into the Bonteheuwel library and vandalised the place, a week after the celebration of National Book Week.
National Book Week (NBW) is celebrated every year from September 3 to 9 and was initiated by the South African Book Development Council in partnership with the Department Of Arts and Culture.
During this time, library users can return outstanding books to the library without having to pay a fine.
Libraries also host various programmes to encourage an ethos of reading, joining the library and in turn create a passion for reading in various communities.
Bonteheuwel ward councillor, Angus Mckenzie said the incident happened at about 1 am on Sunday, September 16 at the library situated in Kiaat Road, Bonteheuwel. Intruders left the office trashed and while the library remained open, the office was cordoned off for the police investigation.
He said when the staff arrived for work on Monday, September 17 they found that the office had been broken into, with robbers having gained access to the building through the ceiling.
Mr McKenzie said: “They stole the library monitors, the scanners, the cleaning material, internet cables, computers, and stationery.
“I am disgusted by this incident, the level of disrespect is shocking. They have not only robbed the library but themselves and their children of knowledge and education,” he said.
Bishop Lavis police station’s spokeswoman, Samantha Adonis, said that drug abuse in the area had contributed to the number of break-ins in Bonteuhewel.
She said that the entire area was a hot spot for gangsterism and crime.
“We haven’t made any arrests yet and there are no leads,” she said.
Bishop Lavis Community Police Forum chairperson, Graham Lindhorst, said that the library had been broken into twice this year.
Mr Lindhorst said as long as drug abuse continued there would be many break-ins. “There has been no security at the library after hours for some time now which could also be a contributing factor. It is also secluded so not many people will know anything. This affects the people who want to make use of the library and do not have access to internet,” he said.