105 cases of burglary, vandalism opened by Gauteng schools since start of year
Pretoria - With only six arrests made to date stakeholders are calling for an urgent intervention to curb the ever-growing spate of burglaries and acts of vandalism reported by Gauteng schools.
To date, 105 cases of burglary and vandalism have been opened by Gauteng schools since the beginning of the year.
According to Khume Ramulifho, DA spokesperson for education, they were shocked to learn that such a high number of schools were under siege from criminals.
Ramulifho said they were informed of this sad state of affairs by Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko recently at the Gauteng Provincial legislature that schools in the province including two in the capital city had reportedly being broken into.
In Tshwane alone, the WF Nkomo Secondary school in Atteridgeville as well as the Mthombo Primary school in Mamelodi were attacked by criminals.
Other schools targeted so far include the Orlando High School in Soweto, the Sebokeng Community learning Centre and Tshepisong Primary school in Kagiso.
“It is very worrying that the Gauteng Department of Education continues to lose millions of rands in theft, burglaries, and vandalism while not much is being done to safeguard assets.”
“These incidents clearly indicate an ineffective school safety strategy and that the South African Police Service is failing to prioritise the safety of schools.”
Ramulifho said his sentiments around the police’s ineffectiveness stemmed from the fact that only six arrests had been made so far, with all the cases still under investigation.
Furthermore, most of the suspects arrested were repeat offenders and still on trial for other charges and offences.
“We call on the police to ensure that all cases reported are investigated and result in convictions. They should also prioritise school safety by ensuring police visibility across all schools.”
Ramulifho said the issue of schools safety was also a task that could not be addressed by the police alone.
He urged community members to take ownership of the schools in their area by strengthening the relationship with law enforcement agencies to prioritise school safety.
And for additional safety and security measures such as fences or walls surrounding the schools to be strengthened.