More than 70 schools broken into in Mpumalanga during lockdown
A total of 72 schools have been broken into in Mpumalanga since the start of the national lockdown, the province's education department revealed on Saturday.
“Judging from the number of incidents, it seems that criminals are on the prowl destroying the much-needed community development facilities,” it said.
It said that two districts — Nkangala and Gert Sibande — had each recorded 28 school burglaries, with seven schools being burgled in Bohlabela District and nine in Ehlanzeni.
“In all these burglary instances, cases were opened with the SAPS and investigations are continuing.”
The department called for anyone with information on the burglaries or the perpetrators to inform law enforcement agencies or contact the nearest police station.
MEC for education Bonakele Majuba condemned the burglaries and called on communities to “expose the criminals behind these hideous deeds”.
“The destruction and breaking into public or private property is really uncalled for and must be condemned with the strongest terms it deserves.
“Schools and any public property must not in anyway be targets for criminal activity because they solely exist to empower our children and communities and for this reason they need to be protected. The vandalism and burglaries are counterproductive to the developmental agenda of government. I request our communities to work with the police to identify the culprits behind this so that in turn they may be brought to book.” Majuba said.