Fury over spate of burglaries at school

Concerned parents visited the Khayelitsha Police station to hand over a memorandum of demands.

Parents of pupils at Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School, in Site B, are calling on police to practise what they preach, and work with the community.

On Thursday November 10, disgruntled parents marched to Khayelitsha police station to voice their anger about school burglaries and what they described as police inefficiency.

Organisers claimed that despite school break-ins being on the rise, police did nothing- and the school was but a stone’s throw away from the police station.

It is alleged that the school is burgled on average twice a week.

Supported by the pupils, the concerned parents demanded that some of the cases be reopened. They also demanded day and night patrols, adding that police should be quick to attend crime scenes, and work with the community.

School governing body chairperson Sandile Mbokodi said just three weeks ago the school was burgled twice and accused the police of not taking their cases seriously, with them being opened and closed within two days.

And, he said, neither the school nor the parents were informed.

“We are saying enough is enough. Police must do their work properly. There is a closed-circuit television camera here, (but) when they are called to view footage, they tell us to copy it and send it to them. These are people that are always crying out for help and that the community must report crime. This is not on,” he said.

Mr Mbokodi said a parent recently showed the police groceries stolen from the school but the case did not go any where. He said the decision to march was taken on Wednesday October 30 during a parents’ meeting. “We could not fold our arms while our school is being messed up. We expect police to work for this community and patrol schools. After this march we will watch and see what is going to happen. But our expectations are high. We expect the cases to be re-opened, perpetrators that are known to the community to be arrested and more patrols,” he said.

School caretaker Thandi Mhlawuli lashed out at the police, accusing them of being lazy. She said she always reported cases, but rarely saw results. “There has never been an arrest. You ask yourself are they really interested in working here, or couldn’t they care less? Police have made numerous calls for the community to work with them but now this,” she said.

Ms Mhlawuli said in every break-in at the school police hardly come to investigate. She said she has a responsibility of nagging them to come. The angry parents handed the memorandum and gave them seven working day to respond

Colonel Harry Lawrence accepted the memorandum and promised to refer it to the station commander. “I will pass it on to the relevant people. It will be them that will contact you for a time frame,” he told them. Parents have also threatened to take the law into their hands should police fail to work with them in future.