School on edge after armed heist

Counsellors will be sent to Masibambane Secondary School in the wake of an armed robbery that terrified three teachers and a pupil and has set the whole school on edge.

The teachers and pupil were robbed at the Kwazakhele school on Tuesday at about 4pm after a netball match.

Two unidentified men held the group at gunpoint and demanded their belongings.

Principal Bongani Gade, 49, said teachers no longer felt safe on the school premises.

“Teachers fear for their lives after this incident. They were held at gunpoint and had their personal belongings taken,” Gade said.

“It is hard to restore normality after such a grave incident but we are working hard to ensure we make decisions on tightening security.

“A teacher’s vehicle was stolen and money amounting to more than R1 000 was taken.”

Gade said the Department of Education had recently erected a new high-security fence, but this had not stopped the robbers from entering the school premises.

Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge confirmed yesterday that a complaint had been laid at the Kwazakhele police station. The two men were still at large, he said. A shocked China Klaas, 52, who lives opposite the school, said: “I saw police vans coming to the school. I am worried about the crime in this community and how it is affecting pupils.

“How are they meant to get an education if their school is not safe?” she asked.

Provincial education spokesman Malibongwe Mtima said a meeting with Kwazakhele schools had been held at the police station yesterday.

“We have serious crime issues where schoolchildren are being abducted or robbed,” he said.

“We agreed that police stations that had adopted schools in the past should strengthen their relationships.

“We urge schools to stop keeping money on their premises and to create strict rules about cellphones and other valuables.”

Mtima said the district department would send counsellors to Masibambane.

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