Thugs have field day in schools

2018-06-07 06:01
Lwandle primary school in Site B, one of the victims of school crime by armed criminals. photo:UNATHI OBOSE

Lwandle primary school in Site B, one of the victims of school crime by armed criminals. photo:UNATHI OBOSE

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The escalation of crime in Khayelitsha has become a cause for concern after a spate of armed robberies in schools in the area.

Now principals of the affected schools have appealed to the education Department of Education to beef up security.

The criminals appear to target mainly computer labs, tablets and laptops.

Lwandle Primary School in Site B was the latest school to be robbed last week Tuesday.

One school laptop, three educator’s personal laptops, seven cellphones and wallets were seized from staff during the incident.

Other schools include Ummangaliso Public and Intshayelelo primary schools, which were both robbed while Umanyano High School and Khayelitsha School for Skills were burgled.

Western Cape Department of Education spokesperson Millicent Merton confirmed the incident at Lwandle Primary, saying it happened around the time when learners were dismissed at the end of the day.

“The principal reported that three armed robbers entered his office and demanded tablets, computers, cellphones and cash. He (the principal) and a visitor to the school were robbed of their personal belongings,” says Merton.

She adds that the principal and visitor were locked up in the office and the robbers proceed to the secretary’s office, where they took more personal belongings and then fled. Merton says the district office has provided trauma counselling.

Speaking on behalf of Lwandle Primary School, Luyanda Zokoza, chairperson of the School Governing Body, said their school is no longer secure.

He says they have communicated with the local neighbourhood watch and councillor in an effort to beef up security at the school.

“The neighbourhood watch agreed that they will deploy members in the morning and after school to look after the learners,” says Zokoza.

Nokuzola Malgas, the principal of Manyano High School in Litha Park, says the culprits stole about 43 computers and vandalised about four doors at the school.

“That was a new computer room donated by the South African Medical and Education Foundation. We were about to officially open the lab,” says Malgas.

She says the incident happened about a fortnight ago, but the school must still have security guards or cameras installed.

Ndithini Tyhido, from the Khayelitsha Development Forum, says as a forum they condemn any criminal activities in Khayelitsha­.

“The department must prioritise the protection of our learners and educators.

“They should ensure that the environment to learning and teaching is conducive because educators cannot be enthusiastic in their jobs, if they are faced with imminent danger,” says Tyhido.

Tyhido has urged all the school stakeholders in Khayelitsha to come together in the fight against criminality. At Intshayelelo Primary School, criminals stole five laptops, eight cellphones, wallets and wedding rings. At Khayelitsha School for Skills, they took blankets, five computers, school uniforms, heaters and a server. At Ummangaliso Public Primary they stole two laptops, eight cellphones and a handbag.

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