Seven people have been arrested in connection with vandalising and breaking in at schools at Mankweng outside Polokwane in Limpopo. Police spokesperson Motlafela Mojapelo says the suspects were arrested following investigations.
Police have also recovered items such as computers and fridges.
More than 400 schools have been vandalised since the start of the lockdown countrywide.
Mojapelo says the suspects will appear in court soon.
“The police in Mankweng have arrested seven suspects aged between 24 and 64 on Sunday night for allegedly breaking into school premises and other houses and stealing different items. The arrests were effected in different locations in the Mankweng cluster in the sting operation that was conducted in the area. Different items ranging from computers refrigerators and beddings were recovered during the arrest. The suspects will appear in Mankweng Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, facing charges of burglary and possession of suspected stolen items.”
In the video below, Polokwane residents ask for more security as schools are broken into during the nationwide lockdown.
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said in mid-April that she is horrified at the number of schools that have been vandalised and damaged since the nationwide lockdown began. She said in a statement that she is working with Police Minister Bheki Cele to get to the bottom of these incidents.
She has urged community members to help the police identify the culprits.
“These criminals must be reported to the police immediately. Let us work together to safeguard the future of our children by exposing these criminal elements.”
In the video below, lack of security is blamed for the torching of schools in Gauteng.
SADTU concerned about school vandalism
On Sunday, South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) in North West condemned the vandalism of schools in different parts of the province during the lockdown. 60 schools in the province have been vandalised.
The union’s provincial secretary Els Themba said the department needs to take appropriate measures before the re-opening of schools.
“We believe that the department should be able to make sure that they are able to put measures in place to make sure that those particular schools prior to the reopening, necessary arrangements are made so that proper schooling can resume on time when there is a directive when the schools should resume.”