Thugs threaten principal and pupils

2017-08-03 06:02
School caretaker Ramu Gounden holds one of the rocks the suspects threw at pupils and teachers last Friday.

School caretaker Ramu Gounden holds one of the rocks the suspects threw at pupils and teachers last Friday.

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TEACHERS and pupils at Trubel Primary­ School fear for their lives after eight unknown men threatened them with cane knives at the school on Friday, July 21.

It is alleged they are part of a gang that is stripping the abandoned school in Belvedere, Belfrost Primary.
For the past three years the suspects have stolen asbestos, copper pipes and window frames from the abandoned school.

Pupils, the principal and the caretaker from Trubel Primary had to run for cover as the suspects hurled rocks at them last Friday after they tried to stop them from stealing asbestos from the nearby school - Belfrost Primary­.

Trubel Primary caretaker, Ramu Gounden (42), said he saw eight guys armed with cane knives standing at the railing of Belfrost Primary.

“They were standing on the railing at Belfrost Primary. I asked them what they were doing there.
“They started throwing stones at us. They even threatened us with cane knives.”

Gounden said last year suspects attacked­ him in his room and robbed him.
Two suspects were caught and handed over to the Tongaat SAPS. 
They both appeared in Verulam Magistrate’s Court, however, they were released on a R2 000 fine.

“These guys have been stealing from the school for the past three years.
“Once all the material is finished at the other school, they will come to our school too. They threaten the pupils in broad daylight and when I ask them what they’re doing, they either run away or throw stones at us.”  

Principal Guru Ramcharan said: “Residents from Umbhayi area, who are concerned about what is happening at the school, are sick and tired of these thugs terrorising us.
“Pupils at my school are no longer safe.”

Ramcharan said he called the Tongaat SAPS, Metro and Reaction Unit South Africa for assistance.
“The suspects fled [on foot] prior to the arrival of the police and Rusa.
“We were lucky because we were not hurt when the suspects hurled stones at us.”

Chairperson of the Belvedere Civic Association Reuben Govender said: “We fear that the thugs, once done stealing from Belfrost, will target the other school that is fully functional.
“Firstly, I would like to thank principal at Trubel Primary for his bravery in facing the criminals and looking after the two schools. 
“This is a burning issue in our community as the residents are concerned about the safety of the children at the school.
“We need the MEC for education to come down and intervene. If we really care about our children, there has to be plans put in place to protect them. We should pull out all the stops in getting our children to a safe place.”

Billy Nair Circuit manager for education department Selvan Chetty said: “The school [Belfrost] is officially closed and the Department of Education is looking at implementing plans for the school to be used again.
“My understanding was that the building was in a process to be renovated. This is a matter that needs to be dealt with in the provincial level.”

Ward councillor Dolly Munien said: “We don’t expect such barbaric behaviour from the adults in our society. Throwing stones at the children at school is something we condemn.
“Education is our children’s future therefore whoever is stealing and terrorising the pupils and teachers at the school must be dealt with accordingly.”

Tongaat SAPS spokesperson in Captain Patrick Ngwane confirmed that the police attended the complaint at the school, but said no case had been opened.


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