A man accused of burglary was beaten unconscious in Mamelodi this week by angry taxi drivers and residents, Pretoria East Rekord reports.
This followed a break-in at a Mamelodi West preschool this week.
The man was severely assaulted until he lost consciousness. Upon being revived, he managed to escape before police arrived.
It was the fourth such burglary at Itireleng preschool this year. The principal and the community said they were at their wits’ end because there appeared to be no solution at hand to stop the ongoing burglaries.
Residents said continuous break-ins at the preschool were disturbing the community. They called on the Tshwane metro to beef up security at the facility.
The crèche is owned and run by the metro. The preschool had this year been robbed of water taps, chairs and blankets.
Windows and doors were broken, the kitchen and bathrooms vandalised, and the ceilings damaged. Disappointed principal Mariam Banda said, “the preschool desperately needed attention as soon as possible”.
“It is no longer safe for the children and the staff because of the vandalisation that takes place almost every week,” she said.
She urged the metro to provide security soon. “We used to have a security guard here,” said Banda.
“I cannot understand why the services of the security company were cancelled, leaving us unsafe and vulnerable. The thieves who broke in had all the time in the world and stole almost everything that is needed to run the preschool. They stole water taps and broke water basins, leaving water leaking everywhere and causing our classrooms to become ﬂooded.”
Banda said the community was running out of ideas about on how to protect the school. They were worried about how teachers would be able to teach the children without equipment.
Police spokesperson Captain Johannes Maheso condemned the mob justice meted on criminals. He said the community should hand over suspects to the police after they had been arrested.
“The police will make sure that the suspect is taken to court and let the department of justice deal with the crime concerned.
“Taking the law into your own hands will achieve absolutely nothing. Doing this will actually only damage your own case,” Maheso said.