Police Minister Bheki Cele has warned criminals wreaking havoc in Mamelodi that he, along with his team, was rapidly closing in on them.
Speaking at Kutumela Molefi Primary School in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, on Thursday, 11 April 2019, Police Minister Bheki Cele warned criminals operating in the area that police were hot on their heels. The school had been burgled ten times in the past, with criminals stealing goods including gas cylinders and wooden doors.
Cele was part of a high-level delegation that included the Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane. Cele said that police had come up with plans to curb the crimes in the area, but could not divulge all of them as they would give the thieves an upper hand.
“But some plans include floodlights for the dark areas and constant police patrols.
“I’m giving the police four days to conduct and survey this area and report back to me with what they need to end this crime,” he said.
Reports reveal that when pupils, teaching and non-teaching staff returned to school from the April recess, they were met with yet another burglary. This time, the large window frames at the administration offices were on the floor, security gates were bent, and the main gate was arched to allow an illegal and forced entry. The thieves escaped with three large cylinders, a deep freezer and wooden doors from the storeroom.
During his address, Cele chastised the parents of the pupils for sitting back and not taking action. He said he wanted to have a conversation with them over the matter.
“Where are the parents when their children are under siege? These children were not born by the government. They have parents but the question being asked is where is the government, where is the government? Where are the parents? We want the parents and the community to meet us here,” said Cele.
Cele then praised the staff for speaking up against the criminality and for the cooperation from the media.
“We always appreciate when the media works with us in doing the right thing. The newspaper articles have brought us here. We really want to start by appreciating the media. We are here because you raised your issues through the Pretoria News, saying your school has been burgled 10 times,” said Cele, addressing the school’s pupils.