Kutumela-Molefi Primary School rocked by burglaries
The school, situated in an isolated area along Bronkhorstspruit Road, has suffered more than eight burglaries in its two years of existence.
Yesterday stakeholders, including school governing body members, police and officials from the Department of Education held a heated meeting to find a solution to the scourge.
Most recently criminals made off with two laptops and food for the feeding scheme.
Principal Alfred Moemise, said the criminals were getting more ruthless with each attempt. “They started breaking doors and windows. Now they are hauling out the windows and vandalising the infrastructure.” The past weekend’s incident was the second in one month.
But before the suggestion of patrolling was agreed upon, member of the governing body Solomon Gamede cautioned that if the police delayed their response things might turn ugly. “What do we do with the culprits once we catch them? Call the police and wait days before they arrive? We are going to take matters into our own hands,” he said to the applause of many. “The police are now going to arrest us.”
Some residents doubted the patrol suggestion; they referred to the incident in 2015 during which a patroller was shot on the school grounds.
They bounced off numerous suggestions, including installing flood lights and an alarm system.
Stakeholders felt they were let down by the delayed response from the police and not following cases through. They complained that they were sidelined in the surrounding informal settlements.
They also accused police of always referring them to the next police station when they reported cases.
“When we call Boschkop, they refer us to Mamelodi East police station and when we call them they tell us Silverton police station. It’s like no one wants to take responsibility for us,” said one livid resident.
But Silverton police spokesperson Captain Jan Sepato explained that the area was complexly demarcated and residents needed to know exactly where they fall under.
He urged that the demarcation problem be sorted out at a high level so they could work with the Community Policing Forum.
“I will take the matter up with the senior station commissioner and also introduce a sector manager,” said Sepato.
He also promised that a police van will patrol the school twice a night depending on the availability of vehicles.