The Bambazi High School in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal went up in flames on Wednesday late afternoon, before 17h00; sadly not the first South African school that’s been torched during SA’s 21-day lockdown.
Elijah Mhlanga, Spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education, tweeted on Wednesday evening that “so many schools (have been) destroyed during this lockdown. It’s going to be tough…”
— Elijah Mhlanga (@ElijahMhlanga) April 8, 2020
Mhlanga also retweeted a similar video in which the Twitter user said: “This incident was confirmed by SAPS and fire extinguishers were called to put out the fire. Why are we burning schools? What is wrong?”
Yesterday morning, the Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela condemned the torching of schools in Tshwane, after three schools had been set alight and two broken into in Soshanguve.
According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), Soshanguve High was burnt in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“The attack and burning of schools will not be tolerated and police will make sure that those who are behind these criminal acts are hunted down and brought to book,” said Provincial Commissioner.
Cases of arson and business breaking have been opened for investigation.
SAPS is appealing to the community to come forward with information that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators by contacting the Crime Stop number 08600 10111 or leave an anonymous tip-off on the MySAPS App.
In better news, South Africa has found a way to keep educating schoolchildren during lockdown. During the first week there were complaints that not all children around the country could access online lessons. Yesterday the SABC and the Department of Basic Education announced the launch of a COVID-19 learner support initiative to help support learners during Lockdown.
The educational programme is scheduled to start on Thursday, 9 April and will broadcast across three SABC TV channels and 13 radio stations, with online support.
“The series will provide curriculum support lessons to learners in Grades 10, 11 and 12 and Early Childhood Development (ECD). Some of the subjects covered include Maths, Physical Sciences, English First Additional Language, Life Sciences and Accounting. A variety of African languages are also covered under the ECD basket,” read the statement.
This multimedia initiative is supported by an online YouTube channel. Read more about the SABC Schools initiative here.
Schools have been closed since 18 March 2020. The lockdown is expected to be lifted at midnight on 16 April.
Sources include: Elijah Mhlanga on Twitter, SAPS, SANews.gov.za