Thieves disrupt classes

John Pama Primary school principal Ndileka Jeremiah has called on residents of Nyanga and KTC to protect their school from criminals.

John Pama Primary School principal Ndileka Jeremiah is fed up with constant break-ins at the school and is now appealing to the community to take ownership of the school.

She said vandals have turned the school into their playground.

A distraught Ms Jeremiah said the school has been burgled and vandalised at least five times since the start of the new year.

In the latest incident, on Wednesday February 1, three classrooms were damaged.

Doors and electrical cables were stolen, while toilets were removed. She lamented the lack of security, saying it made it easy for criminals. The school has no security and attempts to get the community to help have been in vain.

“This is the worst break-in. This is just not on. My staff is frustrated. Children could not do a thing this morning. This is taking us back. Every time the school is burgled, we are losing time,”she said.

Ms Jeremiah also appealed to vandals to bring back the stolen items. “It is now time for the community to rise up and take control of things,” she said.

“This is their school and the future of their children. We appeal to them to work with us so to root out crime. It’s the future of their children that is being ruined. Parents and everybody should fight for the education of their children. I am busy talking to community members for help. “We might as well hire somebody temporarily while we do not have a permanent security. We will pay that person on our own if needs be,” she said.

When Vukani arrived at the school, Gugulethu police were on the scene and books were scattered every- where.

School caretaker Nompumelelo Hobo said she was asleep when she heard the alarm go off. She said she waited until it stopped before she went out. But she did not see anything wrong until early in the morning. “They probably know where I sleep and know very well that I am a woman so cannot do a thing. When I walked around I noticed they used dustbins to climb over a fence,” she said.

Western Cape Education Department spokesperson Millicent Merton said the school has since been allocated funds to appoint emergency security during which time security issues at the school will be attended to.

Numerous attempts to get comment from Gugulethu police failed.

Spokesperson Constable Sindiswa Ngqele was not available for comment and had reportedly attended a shooting training, while station commander Brigadier Luyanda Damoyi was apparently in a meeting.