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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

SAHRC commends SAPS for school burglary arrests

17 April 2020

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Friday said it was concerned over the spate of attacks and burglaries taking place at schools across the country.
The commission also welcomed the South African Police Service’s “swift action” in arresting some of the suspects.
“The commission...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,” said the SAHRC in a statement.
It also commended community members who provided information to the police that led to the arrests of suspects and encouraged the public to continue working with authorities.
The commission emphasised that access to education for all children was 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 had a significant impact on education as it has kept children across South Africa out of school, said the commission.
“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.”
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga on Friday also condemned the targeting of schools by criminals during the lockdown.
Nationwide, 397 schools have been vandalised, torched and robbed, according to authorities.

African News Agency

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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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.

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