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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Media Statement: SAHRC welcomes the arrest of suspects accused of the burglary and vandalism of schools

Attention: Editors and Reporters

Friday, 17 April 2020

The South African Human Rights Commission (the Commission or the SAHRC) is concerned over the spate of attacks and burglaries taking place at schools across the country.

The Commission therefore commends the swift action taken by the South African Police Service in investigating these crimes, and welcomes the arrest of 54 people this week, suspected of the vandalism and torching of schools during the lockdown. It also commends those community members who provided information to the Police, leading to the arrest of some individuals. The Commission therefore calls on members of the community who have information to come forward to the Police and assist in putting a stop to these devastating crimes.  

Access to education for all children is essential, not only for the country to combat poverty and inequality, but for the personal development of each child. The theft of critical infrastructure, vandalism and torching of school property is shocking and unacceptable, and will have significant implications for the delivery of a quality basic education to the children of this country when schools are meant to resume functioning.

The national Lockdown, implemented in terms of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, due to the spread of COVID-19, has had a significant impact on education, keeping children across South Africa out of school. The SAHRC understands that for the academic year to be salvaged and for education to be meaningful, that the state of schools need to be intact upon the return to school of learners, once the lockdown ends. Extraordinary measures would be needed by educators, learners, caregivers and communities to ensure that the educational programme for learners commences and the negative impact by the lockdown is minimised. This cannot be achieved if vital school infrastructure needs to be replaced and repaired due to arson, vandalism and theft.



Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission

Gushwell Brooks – Communications Co-ordinator Tel: 082 645 8573This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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About us

The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

Braampark Forum 3, 33 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein

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