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Western Cape Education Department offers reward after multiple armed robberies

The department is sick of schools and teachers being targetted.

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Over the course of May, four primary schools were targetted for armed robberies in the Cape Town area and Western Cape as a whole. At the time of the robberies, learners and teachers were still participating in meetings and activities.

Computers and other technology were stolen while staff were threatened at gunpoint as they had their personal items taken from them. In one case, a vehicle was hijacked on the premises.

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“I am just extremely grateful that no learner or educator has been fatally harmed during these attacks.”

“In all four incidents, however, it has left our staff traumatised and in fear of their safety. I do not blame them,” said Western Cape Education Minister Debbie Schafer.

While the Western Cape Education Department has provided additional security and trauma counselling, Schafer believes the schools are being targetted for “specific reasons” and at a certain time of day.

The department is now offering a R10 000 reward for any individual who can come forward with information that will lead to the arrests of the robbers.

“These criminals need to be stopped before they attack another school. That is why, today, I am issuing a reward of R10 000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of these individuals.”

“The WCED is not a security agency and we cannot investigate and make arrests ourselves – but we are determined to do what we can to assist in securing convictions to prevent similar attacks on our schools,” Schafer said.

The four schools that were targetted were Ummangaliso Primary in Khayelitsha(16 May), Intshayalelo Primary (24 May) and Lwandle Primary (29 May) in Lingelethu West as well as Vukhukhanye Primary (30 May) in Gugulethu.

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The recently re-established City of Cape Town Special Investigative Unit (SIU) will work with the department to assist the SAPS.

The reward being offered is the first of its kind from the department. For Schafer, it’s time to let the criminals “know that we’re looking for them”.

Members of the public with information pertaining to the armed robberies must please contact WCED’s Safe Schools hotline on 0800 45 46 47 – this is a toll free number.