Six pupils between the ages of 11 and 12 are due to appear in the Alexandria Magistrate’s Court today on charges of theft and housebreaking.
The boys allegedly wrecked classrooms and other property at the Alexandria High School.
The boys, said to be among 22 children between nine and 12, implicated in the January 7 and 8 incident, allegedly broke into the school and trashed classrooms, scattered books over the floors and threw paint on the walls.
Police said doors and windows were broken, walls and blackboards were covered in graffiti and the floor of the school hall with urine and human faeces.
The boys allegedly also stole stationery and toys and helped themselves to staff tea and coffee before fleeing.
The Eastern Cape Education Department has called for harsh punishment against the alleged perpetrators, saying there was zero tolerance for vandals of school property.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Luvuyo Mjekula said the boys appeared briefly in court on Thursday and would today face charges of housebreaking and theft.
In Nelson Mandela Bay, Kwazakhele’s Thamsanqa High was targeted by vandals last week.
Principal Wandile Dala said thieves went through the roof of the administration building in an attempt to get into the strongroom.
“When they failed, they tried to break through a wall into the strong room, where we keep our valuables.”
A frustrated Dala said the school was prone to break-ins.
“It is too much. Our school is being stripped. Funds are exhausted and we cannot keep fixing things only to have them ruined again,” he said.
At Motherwell High School, burglars were scared off by the alarm when they cut through the security gates to gain entry to the administration building.
“Just as we were starting to thank our lucky stars that we were untouched, we saw the broken gates,” principal Mzoli Maarman said.
“We were fortunate nothing was taken.
“However, the broken gates issue disrupts our financial planning because the money we must use to fix the gates was earmarked for something else,” Maarman said.
A spokesman at New Brighton’s Samuel Nongogo Primary School said the school was lucky to have escaped any vandalism.
Neighbouring Newell High School reported no break-ins.
Police spokesman Constable Mncedi Mbombo said there had been no reports of school burglaries or vandalism in Nelson Mandela Bay.
– Zandile Mbabela