Twenty-nine more people have been arrested in the past two weeks for crimes related to burglaries at Gauteng schools, bringing the total number of arrests for school burglaries in the province to 95.
According to provincial police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo, the latest arrests were effected on Wednesday in Mabopane, Tshwane, where four people were allegedly found in possession of a music system and band instruments that were believed to be stolen from Mabopane High School.
“Two more suspects were arrested in Loate, Tshwane, on Tuesday. They were found with doors, chairs, lights and an electric fan. All these items were allegedly stolen during the burglary at HM Baloyi Secondary School in Winterveld.”
The breakdown of the arrests per district is as follows: Johannesburg (including Soweto) – 36; Tshwane – 32; Sedibeng – 11; Ekurhuleni – 10; and the West Rand – six.
The basic education department said at least 962 schools across the country were vandalised and robbed since the start of the national lockdown, News24 reported.
In all of the incidents, administration blocks and laboratories were targeted, and ICT (information and communications technology) equipment stolen, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Thursday.
She added that vandals also set alight classrooms.
Motshekga was briefing the media to outline the department’s Covid-19 plan to ensure that schools are ready to resume teaching and learning in a safe space.
“I will be failing my duty if I don’t express my deep concern about what is happening to our schools during the lockdown,” the minister said.
Motshekga also welcomed the work police had done to ensure that those behind the vandalism and robberies were brought to book.