The North West Education and Sport Development department was shocked to hear that four classrooms at Phogole Primary School at Makwassie, Lebaleng Township near Wolmaranstad were burnt down on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 due to allegations of criminality.
A block of four classrooms were burnt down, school furniture (chairs and tables) and the administration block was severely damaged due to suspicion of burglary. It is reported that a member of the community saw the smoke coming from the school at 13:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 and immediately alerted the neighbours who called the police and the fire fighters. The suspected criminals gained entry by braking the burglar of the admin block, then went on to disconnect the alarm system. It is alleged that they targeted tablets and computers but unfortunately the school kept them elsewhere in a safe place which is out of school.
Upon failing to get the electronic gadgets, criminals resorted in burning the school. The suspects allegedly used a grinder to destroy the strong room door and vandalised the reception area. It is further reported that few weeks ago the criminals stole an unconfirmed number of tablets and computers at Atlarelang Primary School which is in the same township using the same modus operandi. The North West Education and Sport Development MEC, Sello Lehari condemned in strongest terms the act of vandalism at schools. “On behalf of the department I strongly condemn the barbaric act of criminality which continue to disadvantage the schools of our learners.”
“I am calling upon for the arm of the law to arrest those individuals who feed themselves in stealing properties intended to develop children in schools. It is heartbreaking to see criminals destroying the future of our children at an expense of government,” said MEC Lehari. The cost of all damages to the school are estimated at R2 million. The department plans to provide temporary classrooms to the school during the reopening of schools whilst a permanent solution is been sorted.