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Spate of school robberies in Gauteng continues unabated

21 January 2019 - 09:18 By Naledi Shange
Yet another school has been robbed, this time the Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa Secondary School in Soshanguve, near Pretoria.
Yet another school has been robbed, this time the Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa Secondary School in Soshanguve, near Pretoria.
Image: Gallo Images/ IStock

Two people were arrested at the weekend in connection with a robbery at a school in Soshanguve, near Pretoria.  

The Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa Secondary School was targeted by robbers on January 18 2019. The Sowetan reports that robbers gained access to the premises after one of them pretended to be a parent who was looking for space for his child. They held up the principal and took the keys to the storeroom where the electronic equipment was stored, the newspaper reported on Monday. They sped off in the principal's car.

The Tshwane North Trio Task Team conducted an intelligence-driven operation that led members to Winterveld, where two suspects were arrested. They recovered laptops and projectors, among other items, which were later identified by the school’s principal, police said.

It was believed the two were not operating alone.

Police said several other suspects managed to flee the scene as police carried out the arrests.

They were not ruling out the possibility that the suspects may have been involved in other school break-ins.

The suspects were scheduled to appear in the Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court soon.

The robbery was not the first this year.

Four people were arrested in connection with a burglary at Menzi Primary School, a new, multi-million-rand school in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni.

The group was arrested last week after stolen items were discovered in a hardware and appliance shop in the Johannesburg CBD.

Captain Kay Makhubela said 22 tablets and three laptops, believed to have been taken from the school, were found during a raid at the premises.

It was alleged that two security guards were tied up and locked in a strongroom at the school. The suspects broke the main vault door to get the school’s keys.

The administration block and IT offices were targeted.

The education department said items stolen included 185 tablets, eight laptops, two data projectors, three desktop computers, a flat-screen TV, petty cash and a digital video recorder.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said as a result of the robbery, Grade 7 pupils did not have textbooks because their e-books were stored on the stolen tablets.