Motshegka fuming as lockdown looters hit nearly 200 SA schools
A “state of the art” primary school in KwaMashu, north of Durban, was burgled on Sunday — yet another school hit by robbers during the nationwide lockdown.
This incident brought to 183 the number of schools vandalised, burgled or set alight across SA since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown — something that has left basic education minister Angie Motshekga horrified.
At least 55 schools have been reported to have been hit in Gauteng, 72 in Mpumalanga, seven in the North West and two in KwaZulu-Natal.
Speaking of the most recently reported incident, KwaZulu-Natal education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said on Monday that he had learnt that three laptops, a microwave oven, and 50 e-readers were stolen from the eThekwini Primary School.
“Education is paramount to the future of our young people and that of the country, and if you steal ICT (information and communications technology) infrastructure that is meant to enhance access to education then you are no different to someone who is stealing the future of the youth,” he said.
Mshengu said the department would push for harsh action to be taken against those who vandalise and steal learning support infrastructure in schools.
He said the matter had been reported to the police, who are searching for the suspects.
“We have also received reports of similar cases from three other schools under Pinetown district namely Muziwabantu Primary school, Daluxolo Primary school and Maqadini Primary school (we are busy verifying those cases).”
Mshengu called on members of the community to report any suspicious activities around schools to the police.
Motshekga echoed Mshengu's sentiments and condemned the countrywide incidents.
“It is quite disheartening that criminal elements in our communities could destroy the infrastructure of their own children with such apparent impunity. I am in constant touch with the minister of police [Bheki Cele], and with the assistance of the state intelligence forces, we are following leads to the immediate arrest and prosecution of every single criminal responsible,” said Motshekga.