Three break-ins at crèche during lockdown

2020-04-29 06:00

ISIBUKOSEZWE Crèche KwaZayeka in Sweetwaters, has been broken into three times in the space of three weeks.

Last week enraged community members decided that they had had enough and assaulted the alleged robbers after they had apparently confessed to the incidents.

SAPS was called to the scene and the alleged robbers were arrested.

The last break-in occurred last Wednesday when the robbers allegedly jumped the fence and gained access to the crèche through by breaking a ceiling board.

Crèche owner, Greta Ntulo Zondi, said the first break-in happened about three weeks ago after the national lockdown was implemented.

She said two grass-cutting machines, cleaning tools, food items, an iron and plates from the kitchen were taken.

“After being aware of the break-in, I reported the matter at Plessislaer Police Station and a case was opened. After that, I decided with other community members to move things — such as furniture, the microwave, the television and pots — to a safer place because we did not want to risk them being stolen.

“As if that was not enough, the robbers came back for the second time a few days later but they did not take anything this time as we had moved most of the items,” she said.

Last week, however, was a different story.

“It was like they just came to vandalise the crèche because there was nothing left for them to steal. They destroyed files carrying pupils information by tearing them. They even set alight about 20 graduation gowns. They just wanted to destroy the crèche and set it alight because they started a fire and left. We don’t know how the fire was extinguished, but we grateful that it was,” she said.

Zondi said she was very angry and heartbroken at the same time as the crèche belongs to the community and was built purely through donations.

She said they do not know how the crèche is going to survive when the lockdown is over as most of the equipment and items were destroyed and others stolen.

“What angers me more is that the people who are doing this are from our own community. They are destroying something that is a great help to the community and their own family members.

“I hope that the perpetrators are thrown in jail for a long time so that they will not be able to go and destroy somewhere else.”

Zondi said they are currently looking for donations that will help them to continue with the crèche after lockdown.

The alleged robbers were caught and beaten up by people in the community on Monday after they apparently confessed that they had broken into the crèche.

This is not the first incident where the community has taken matters into their own hands.

Last week, Echo reported on a story where a man was beaten by the community for allegedly breaking in and stealing from a few houses in the area. SAPS also intervened.

The community of this area told Echo that they will “take the law into their own hands when it comes to dealing with criminals.”

They said they are “tired of reporting cases to the police because nothing happens after they have been reported.”

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said two men were arrested in connection with the crèche break in and will appear in court soon.

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