Thieves looted and vandalised more than 60 KwaZulu-Natal schools over the Easter break, stealing desks, chairs and computers.
The shock report was made by the Educators Union of South Africa on Thursday, which said it had been bombarded with calls of theft from schools in KZN from Chatsworth, Verulam, Umlazi, Inanda, KwaMashu, Hammarsdale, Umzinto and Imbali township in Pietermaritzburg.
At some schools work could not start as planned on Tuesday because classrooms had been stripped of furniture and teaching aids. Windows at some schools had also been smashed.
A union official said the theft or burning of textbooks was of particular concern because it would take more than 10 months to replace them, and pass rates were likely to suffer.
One Inanda high school principal, who could not be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, told the Daily News on Thursday that it was the second time this year that his school had been raided.
Thieves made off with urinals and pipe fittings and even the doors. He said his
school had been broken into almost daily last year.
“We are pleading with the department to please get all schools security guards as each break-in sets us back,” he said.
“We currently don’t have toilets and that is a big problem for the teachers and pupils.”
The union’s general secretary Sphiwe Mpungose, said most of the affected schools were deemed poor and therefore had no security.
“We have complained to the department about the very same issue regarding these Section 20 schools (schools that are not empowered to run their own finances) because they cannot have security guards as it is not included in their budgets.”
Mbali Thusi, spokeswoman for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, said the department had not received any formal reports on the alleged incidents yet.
However, Thusi said this did not mean that the incidents had not happened.
Provincial police spokes-man, Colonel Jay Naicker, said police were also not aware of the incidents at the schools. - Daily News