A group of children from Bophelong near Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng have been implicated in the theft of around 54 000 condoms from NPO Phuthuloha Counselling Organisation.
According to the NPO’s founder and managing director, Disebo Tladi, there was a burglary at the centre last week.
This is the NPO’s third theft incident, raising concerns about the safety of critical resources and the impact on public health in general, says Tladi.
Phuthuloha, dedicated to promoting safe sex and HIV prevention, is a lifeline for many residents in the area, but ‘naughty’ young boys, between the ages of eight and 10, continue to strip the storage rooms and sell the stolen condoms for R2 a pack at their schools, says Tladi.
“We [are] experiencing break-in challenges. Almost every week, if not twice [a week], we deal with theft or vandalism,” she says.
Among the items stolen are gazebos, thermometers, and blood pressure and diabetes machines.
“Last week they came, broke the garage door, and took nine boxes of condoms. We opened cases, but without identifying suspects, they didn’t go far. So, we end up not reporting the break-ins anymore,” she says.
Tladi appeals to the community to refrain from damaging and breaking into the centre.
“We only want to serve our community, but our community tries so hard to destroy the organisation.”
She appeals to the community to help safeguard this valuable resource. “We are working backwards, as we always have to buy the same things all the time,” she says.
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