Shattered, angry and devastated: Lesufi speaks out on arrest of school feeding scheme staff

Cops remove canned fish and lots of other food meant for a school feeding scheme from a suspect's house. (Morapedi Mashashe)
Cops remove canned fish and lots of other food meant for a school feeding scheme from a suspect's house. (Morapedi Mashashe)

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he was "shattered" by the arrest of four women in Mamelodi in Pretoria, who were allegedly caught selling food meant for a primary school feeding scheme.

Lesufi said he was disappointed that the alleged acts were committed by people the department had employed to look after school pupils.

"I'm shattered. I'm angry. I'm emotionally devastated," he said on Friday.

"They must consider themselves fired. We will not tolerate this."

"It angers me to see the people we have entrusted to take care of our kids can do things like this," he said.

READ: Alleged R6m school feeding scheme fraudsters released on warning

Lesufi also said that there were several break-ins at schools in the province and that food from feeding schemes was specifically being targeted.

"What angers me is, in the last two months [there has] been really brutal break-ins at our schools and sadly, we have lost a security guard who was killed in one of these break-ins. We will not tolerate this," he said.

His department called on police to crack down on those implicated in the theft of food meant for children.

The Daily Sun reported on Friday that the four women employed at a primary school in Mamelodi East had allegedly been selling canned food and other products, which were meant for the school's feeding scheme.

The women were reportedly caught when the prices of the goods made members of the public suspicious.

Mamelodi East spokesperson Captain Michael Mbewe confirmed that four women were arrested and that they appeared in the Mamelodi East Magistrate's Court on the same day for the possession of suspected stolen goods.

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