It’s daylight robbery!

2016-03-17 06:00
 Lwazi Primary School caretaker Zongezile Sodinga outside the girls toilets were thugs stole the burglar gates while the school was in session.  PHOTOs: Mbongiseni Maseko

Lwazi Primary School caretaker Zongezile Sodinga outside the girls toilets were thugs stole the burglar gates while the school was in session. PHOTOs: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Theft, drug haven, vandalism, break-ins are all in a day’s work for staff and learners at Lwazi Primary School in Gugulethu, and the facts are that these acts are committed by the school’s former learners, instead of them being its defenders and protecters.

Staff and learners at the school have become accustomed to arriving back from every recess to find the school bearing the scars of break-ins and vandalism.

It gets worse. The school’s former learners-who have fallen by the wayside- are known to brazenly walk up the school during lessons and strip the burglar gates and the steel fences.

On Monday morning the staff at the school at the corner of NYs 112 and 108 discovered it had been broken into again and on the very same day the thugs returned and stole the burglar bar of the door to the girl’s toilets.

“The criminals are getting more brazen, coming in as they please to pilfer stuff at the school.

“We were used to them breaking in at night and over the holidays but now they come in broad daylight and take whatever they want in front of the children,’ said Thembela Mhlana, chairperson of the school governing body.

As if that was not bad enough, it has ben discovered that the thugs now used the school’s toilets as havens for smoking drugs, and scribble gangster related grafitti on its walls.

‘It’s easy for them to gain access because they have even stolen the school fence. They are slowly stripping away the facility while the community watches on and even buys the stolen material(from the thugs),’ she said.

The vandals even stole a fence that was in the storage room which was going to be used to replace the one they had stolen before.

Caretaker Zongezile Sodinga said he was fighting a loosing battle fighting the rogues from the largerly unfenced school.

“On Monday I spotted these boys and gave chase, all the while shouting for help from passersby, but no one heeded my call; people just looked on as they got away.”

He said that the young boys doing the looting had no fear of getting caught because none of the cases opened with the police ever lead to an arrest.

The biggest problem, according to the SGB, is the community that buys the stolen materials.

“Even after we receive information that the material stolen has been discovered, the police are not helpful when it comes to recover the stolen goods,” a dejected Mhlana said.

The community knows that it should not be buying stolen materials because they are feeding into this(drug) problem.”

Vusumzi Mdungela, deputy principal shared the same sentiments saying that they were disappointed with the police and the department of education, with their indeferent attitude to the school’s predicament.

‘What breaks our spirit is seeing that the material is used in houses nearer to the vicinity of the school.

You find chairs and desks at shebeens and at funerals but whenever you forward this information to authorities, still nothing happens.

The situation is so bad that some teachers are threatening to refuse to go into classroms, for fear of their own safety, given the fact the the school is not ringed, since the theft of the fence.

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