Total of 397 schools vandalised in SA since beginning of lockdown

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Mpumalanga had the highest number of schools vandalised.

The department of basic education raised its concerns after it was confirmed that 397 schools had been vandalised across the country since the Covid-19 lockdown started.

The department said the damage of school property includes torching of schools, the theft of learning as well as teaching equipment, including Information Communication Technology (ICT) equipment.

Mpumalanga had the highest number of schools vandalised standing at 73 including 67 in Gauteng, 57 in Western Cape, 55 in North West, 39 in Northern Cape, 34 in KwaZulu-Natal, 30 in Limpopo, 26 in Eastern Cape 26 and 16 in the Free State.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga condemned the acts of vandalism, burglary and destruction of schools.

“It is really unfortunate that criminals in our communities could destroy the infrastructure of their own children. We applaud the work done by the police and we hope that more arrests will be made. We want to see the arrest and prosecution of every single criminal responsible for this kind of behaviour,” Motshekga said in a statement on Friday.

It was announced on Thursday by Gauteng Premier David Makhura that 54 suspects were arrested in connection to the acts, including those found in possession of stolen property linked to school break-ins in the province.

Two arrests were made in the last 24 hours in KwaZulu-Natal in connection with the break-ins.

“These criminals must be reported to the police immediately. Let us work together to safeguard the future of our children by exposing these criminal elements,” she said.

The minister said communities were meant to be caretakers of the infrastructure that government had put in place for the education of children.

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