Squatter camp residents ‘loot their children’s school’
Kutumela Molefi Primary school in the east of Tshwane is very isolated.
It used to be surrounded by plots and farms until people invaded the plots and erected shacks.
The shacks have brought problems. Every month the school is broken into. Electrical cables, poles, taps, water pipes and stationery have been stolen since July this year.
The brazen thieves are not even shy about it.
The stolen poles and electrical cables have allegedly been used to connect the squatter camp to electricity illegally.
The school’s taps are now communal taps.
Member of the school governing body (SGB), Pitsi Mosehla, said they thought the police would easily arrest the thieves since evidence was everywhere in the squatter camp.
He said the SGB has lost hope, since the police are doing nothing.
“The thieves are now brazen, because since July nothing has happened to them. Now they steal every week. We get case numbers from the police but nothing is ever done,” he said.
He said the stealing has made the school dysfunctional.
“This is a farm school and we use a borehole and a water pump. Without electricity there isn’t water, and toilets don’t work; as a result the school has had to rent bucket toilets. Some teachers say the toilets make them sick.”
A parent, Wilhelmina Mmutle, said she was disappointed with the parents in the squatter camp.
“They’re selfish; they don’t come to parents’ meetings. This is their school, but as long as they can be illegally connected to electricity they don’t care. Should this school close they will suffer,” she said.
Silverton Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Isaac Mchunu confirmed that three cases of theft had been opened and that the police were investigating.
He said they had not been made aware that the stolen items were in a nearby area.
“We urge anyone with information that might lead to the arrests of the perpetrators and the recovery of the stolen items to come forward,” he said.
Pictured above: Patroller Kagiso Mogwaneng in the bathroom where taps were stolen and
SGB member Pitsi Mosehla next to the water tanks
Image source: Karabo Rammutla