Ex-pupils foil school thieves

2009-10-07 00:00

TWO ex-pupils of Mcoseleli Secondary School in Table Mountain have emerged as heroes after they managed to stop burglars dead in their tracks, detained one of them until police arrived and helped recover computers and other goods stolen from the school.

Sbonelo Ngidi (22) said he was on his way to play soccer at around 11 am on Thursday last week when he came across a group of men trying to load computers into a white van. The computers had been stashed in a nearby bush.

He immediately suspected something was amiss, but what he did not know then was that the goods had been stolen earlier that morning from Mcoseleli, where he was once a pupil.

“I saw a white van parked close to the bush. I did not take note of its make because I was busy trying to memorise the number plate,” Ngidi said.

He said he must have startled the group when he arrived, as the men who were about to load the computers into the white van, went back into the bush.

“I greeted them and they responded. When I asked them what they were doing, they refused to answer. So I carried on up the road.

“I was still trying to figure out what to do.”

Ngidi said the area has experienced a number of robberies recently.

“I knew something needed to be done, but I realised that they would overpower me because there were four men in the bush and another two in the car,” he added.

When he met up with Mpheleli Gcabashe, a friend he used to do weight training with, he told him the story.

Gcabashe agreed that two would be better than one and they decided to go back and confront the men.

But while on their way back to the scene, the white van with registration number ND 15173 drove past them. The other four men had started off on foot.

“We caught one of the guys. He is not from here, but he told us that another guy we know, who now lives in Swapo, conducted the burglary. He said they were just there to transport the goods.”

While Ngidi ran to the school to inform the teachers, Gcabashe held on to the suspect until help arrived.

School principal Zwelithini Mtolo said it is pleasing to see that there are still people with high principles, who are concerned with the affairs of their communities.

“I taught these boys in grade 8 … and we are proud of how they have managed the situation.”

Mtolo said he received a call just before 4.30 am on Thursday from the school’s security guard about the break-in.

The security guard claims that he had fallen asleep during the incident.

Four computers, the school’s television set, a DVD player, a microwave and computer accessories were among goods stolen. Only the DVD player is still missing.

Sadly, the computers are believed to have been damaged by the rain.

Mtolo said the school management and the school governing body plan to thank the boys properly.

Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram confirmed the incident, adding that no arrests have been made.

However, police are following up on the information received, Budhram said.

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