Thieves steal school instruments

The music department of Eluxolweni Primary School in Khayelitsha was silenced when burglars who broke into the school made off with music equipment worth more than R100 000.

Among the instruments stolen were saxophones, trombones, trumpets, keyboards, cymbals, acoustic guitars, a guitar amp, a drum kit and bass amps.

The criminals broke through a burglar gate before smashing the door of a shipping container which had been converted into a storeroom. Staff suspect the incident occurred during the night as the security personnel only discovered the break-in at around 5am.

The instruments were being used by grade 4 to 6 pupils.

This is the second time that the school has been robbed, the first incident having taken place early last month when criminals broke into the school premises and stole five computers including a laptop.

Music teacher, Babalwa Mentjies, said the latest break-in had halted the practical musical lessons indefinitely and that the incident had affected the children deeply. Ms Mentjies who has been teaching music at the school for five years, she said the music classes were designed to create a platform for the pupils to discover their hidden talents while developing an interest for music and that few schools in the area offered music lessons.

“We are sad and hurt. I’m now forced to teach the pupils only theory. The pupils are losing an opportunity to refine their skills. I hope that a good Samaritan could assist us in getting back our equipment.

“These are the tools that help us sharpen the children’s future,” she said.

School principal Nandipha Majodina described the incident as “depressing”, adding that it derailed the children’s progress.

She added that despite the school having employed a security guard, criminals still managed to get into their premises. Financial constraints, she said, prevented them from hiring additional security staff.

Ms Majodina urged the community to let them or police know if they heard of anyone trying to sell the music instruments.

Lingelethu West police station spokesperson sergeant, Xoliswa Nyalambisa, said a case of business robbery had been opened at the station and police were investigating the matter.