Lesufi urges community to find robbers who cleaned out mega-school

15 January 2019 - 18:27 By Ernest Mabuza
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visits Tsakane in Ekurhuleni to unveil 33 'smart' classrooms at Menzi primary school, rolled out as part of the province's plan to improve access to technology at state schools on January 9, 2019. On Tuesday, robbers made off with all 185 tablet computers for Grade 7 learners.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visits Tsakane in Ekurhuleni to unveil 33 'smart' classrooms at Menzi primary school, rolled out as part of the province's plan to improve access to technology at state schools on January 9, 2019. On Tuesday, robbers made off with all 185 tablet computers for Grade 7 learners.
Image: Iavan Pijoos

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has challenged the community of Tsakane near Brakpan to hunt for the robbers who stole close to 200 tablets and other equipment from a newly-opened R105m school.

He said failure by the community to assist in the apprehension of the robbers would see the department removing the remaining expensive equipment from Menzi Primary School.

The state-of-the-art mega-school was handed over to the community of Tsakane amid much fanfare on the first day of school on Wednesday, January 9.

During the handing over ceremony, Lesufi had urged community members and pupils to protect the newly-built school from vandals.

On Tuesday, the Gauteng department of education said it had learned with shock about the break-in, which took place in the early hours of Tuesday.

It is alleged that two security guards were tied up and locked in one of the school's strongrooms. The criminals broke the main volt door to access the keys for the entire school.

The department said the main areas broken into were the administration block and IT offices, where the tablets are charged. 

“There is evident forceful entry on the doors of all the areas they went into,” the department said.

It said items stolen included all 185 learner tablets, eight teacher laptops, two data projectors, three desktop computers, a flat screen TV, petty cash of less than R500 and a digital video recorder for cameras.

Lesufi said as a result of the robbery, all grade 7 learners did not have any textbooks as their e-books were on the stolen tablets.

“These are educational facilities, aimed at enhancing the quality of education, and life of children in the township,” Lesufi said.

He said the department was disappointed that criminals could disrupt the education of learners in this community.

“However, we challenge members of the community to assist and hunt the robbers, by Friday, January 18 2019, failing which, we will have no choice but withdraw all expensive equipment from the said school,” Lesufi said.

Last month, Lesufi expressed concern about incidents of burglary at primary and high schools in neighbouring Duduza. The burglaries resulted in the loss of expensive learning equipment and stoves used to cook food for the needy.


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