Four Gauteng schools have been torched and 22 vandalized since President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered a 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The latest school to have been targeted, Soshanguve High, was burnt in the early hours of Wednesday. Amogelang, also in Soshanguve, was set alight early on Tuesday.
The Gauteng Department of Education’s spokesperson, Steve Mabona, said the principal of Soshanguve High was alerted by a resident that the school was on fire. He then rushed to the school and found firefighters and the police on the scene.
“Indeed, firefighters managed to extinguish the fire after a few hours. However, the administration block was burnt down, literally the roof caved in and everything burnt to ashes. All valuable equipment and furniture was lost in the fire,” he said.
Mabona said the fire department had launched an investigation to determine the cause of the fire and police were also investigating circumstances surrounding the incident.
“Sadly, this is a fourth school to be torched in Soshanguve during the 21-day lockdown period. As a result, we can confirm that about 22 schools were vandalized in Gauteng since the lockdown period.
MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi said they were dismayed about what is happening.
“We really don’t know what is happening in Soshanguve. This is to register our plea with the security cluster to protect our schools.
“We are dismayed to report about yet another school destroyed by fire, worse within few days in the same area.
“This is worrisome, it looks like same modus operandi is used. We are tempted to believe that there is a syndicate operating in the area.
“The sooner these cowards are arrested the better,” Lesufi said.
Lesufi was set to visit all the torched schools in Soshanguve on Wednesday.