3 teachers hijacked outside Cape Town primary school

Western Cape MEC for Education Debbie Schäfer has called for increased police visibility in schools after it was reported on Monday that there have been a spate of armed robberies at schools - with the most recent a hijacking outside the school gates.

Three teachers from ACJ Phakade Primary School in Nomzamo near Strand were confronted by five armed men, who made off with three vehicles.

"According to reports, the complainants were forced out of their cars while entering the school premises and the keys were taken by force," police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said.

He said that a Toyota Fortuner, a Toyota Etios and a Hyundai were stolen. Cases of carjacking have been registered for investigation.

Schäfer said that no one was physically hurt during the incident, however, the educators involved were deeply traumatised. Counselling is being provided.

Earlier this month, four separate armed attacks on schools were reported. School equipment was stolen and, in one case, a vehicle was hijacked on the premises.

"I condemn this attack on our teachers in the strongest possible terms. It is absolutely shocking that criminals are targeting innocent teachers," Schäfer said.

"I again call on SAPS to increase their visibility around our high-risk schools at the start and end of the school day, when schools are all the more vulnerable," she said.

Schäfer added that the Western Cape Department of Education Safe Schools Directorate has deployed security to the school.

"Most of our schools have access control measures in place that would prevent criminals from entering our schools," she explained.

"However, it has become evident that they are using the starting and closing times of schools to enter, as this is when our school access points are open."

Schäfer encouraged anyone with information relating to the previous attacks, and this one, to come forward.

* This story has been updated to reflect that hijackings did not take place outside five schools as was initially reported, but rather that there have been separate incidences - of which one was a hijacking - of armed robbery at five schools.

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