Criminals have stolen learning equipment worth more than R3 million at Tsakane Special School at Acornhoek in the Bushbuckridge area, Mpumalanga.

The school caters for learners with severe intellectual disability. The school accommodates about 200 learners.

Tsakane Special School was opened in 2014 as one of the 18 schools that cater for severe intellectual disabled learners in the province.

Over the weekend, criminals broke into the school, assaulted the guard and stole learning equipment. The items include speech therapy and audiology equipments, computers, printers and refrigerators.

The Chairperson of the School Governing Body at the school,
Kenneth Chungwane says, “We are very disturbed with what has happened in this school. Because the robbery that has happened here we think it has robbed the future of our children. If you can look at the machinery stolen here they are very expensive. The school has learners with severe intellectual challenges. Without those machines I think the school is going to have a problem.”

The Mpumalanga Education Department has condemned the incident. Its spokesperson, Jasper Zwane has called on the community to assist police with information.

“This is taking us backward at the true sense of the word. It is unacceptable, it’s uncalled for. We don’t think anyone in his right senses could do such a thing to learners that are a treasure to the country and the department of education and we are worried and want to work with the police.”

Tsakane Special School is the only special school under the Bushbuckridge local municipality. Police are investigating a business robbery case.

Meanwhile in Gauteng, three more suspects arrested in connection with a robbery at the Menzi Primary School in Tsakane, east of Johannesburg, will appear in court on Monday. Police arrested the three in Katlehong on Thursday.

A number of gadgets and an unlicensed firearm were also recovered during a raid in the township. This came after four suspects were arrested for robbing the school in January.