Basic education minister Angie Motshekga has expressed deep concern that 962 schools had been vandalised since the start of the lockdown.
“In almost all the incidents, administration blocks and laboratories have been targeted, and ICT equipment has been stolen,” Motshekga said at a media briefing on Thursday.
She said provinces also reported that food, meant for the school nutrition programme, had been stolen.
“The Umlazi District in KwaZulu-Natal is the hardest hit, with 41 schools affected. This is shocking and disturbing,” Motshekga said.
Motshekga welcomed the work done by the police in arresting the suspects, some of whom were found in possession of the items believed to have been stolen from the schools.
“The barbaric acts of vandalism, must be condemned by all of us.
“We cannot afford a situation where the education of our children is further compromised by criminals, over and above what the coronavirus has brought upon us.”
Motshekga also appealed to the public to work with the police, to ensure that the culprits responsible for the incidents of vandalism, theft and burglaries of schools were apprehended, convicted and jailed for long periods.