For a lot of kids at Frank Joubert Main College in Schauderville, Port Elizabeth, their college meal on a Monday is the primary substantial meals they may obtain after the weekend. However on Sunday, devastated employees found that thieves had damaged into the college kitchen and never solely stole all of the non-perishable meals, meat, bread and kettles, but additionally the rooster and spaghetti that had been ready for the Monday meal. On Monday, employees members tried to stay away from the youngsters, scared that they’d ask for one thing to eat.
Dad and mom, themselves with nearly no meals, had introduced loaves of bread, some greens and something they may spare to the college after the thieves cleaned out the college kitchen and freezers, getting away with the majority of the meals that was meant to feed 800 kids for the following few months.
The cabinets on the college kitchen have been stripped naked, as had been the massive freezers.
Colonel Priscilla Naidu of the SAPS confirmed that police had been investigating a case of burglary after a window in one of many lecture rooms was opened and the kitchen ransacked.
“It’s alleged that on Sunday, 21 February, at about 1pm, the caretaker was cleansing when he observed that meals, cables, a kettle and electrical cords had been lacking. On nearer inspection, he found that one of many home windows in a classroom was opened and the kitchen ransacked. A case of burglary is below investigation by the SAPS Gelvandale detectives. No arrest has been made,” she stated.
Workers members of the Jap Cape Division of Schooling weren’t allowed to talk to the media.
The varsity doesn’t have the cash to interchange the stolen meals as they’ve already used their allotted finances to purchase meals for the youngsters. It’s the third time in a yr that thieves have damaged into the college.
It’s understood that group members beforehand recognized the thieves from CCTV footage however no arrests adopted. The intruders had been armed with pickaxes and spades. Through the second break-in, the college’s safety cameras had been stolen, together with computer systems.
This time thieves focussed on stealing meals, together with the meat that was stored in deep freezes, the kettle, the dishcloths and even the college’s Wi-Fi dongle.
On Monday, as folks scrambled to place meals collectively for the youngsters, a few of the kitchen employees couldn’t convey themselves to stroll previous the youngsters’s courses as they felt too unhappy for the hungry little ones. Probably the most determined of kids got here to knock on the kitchen door to ask for one thing to eat.
“That is very unhappy to me as a result of schooling is all that these kids have. It’s their passport to a greater life. For most of the kids within the college, the meal we offer is their first meal of the day and generally it’s the just one,” a group member stated.
“We at the moment are caught in an evil loop with these thieves,” he added.
“The varsity has sadly grow to be their goal,” he stated. “It’s in a tough location between the areas dominated by two gangs. It’s a little bit remoted. There’s a church shut by, however not too many homes.
“Folks can come and go on the college as they please. What occurred right here may be very unhappy. We aren’t capable of organise huge fundraisers in the meanwhile.”
He stated he was deeply touched by the priority of fogeys within the space. “First somebody arrived with bread. Some introduced greens. Dad and mom introduced what they may. They needed to verify the youngsters have one thing to eat.”
Neighborhood group Involved Residents of PE Metro additionally introduced some greens and meals to the college to assist.
One of many mother and father on the college, Inez Janhoff, stated they had been making an attempt to ensure that the youngsters have at the least one thing to eat however given the massive numbers of meals wanted they will solely plan from daily.
“My daughter is in Grade 1 there. The fence in the back of the college has been destroyed by folks. It’s the place the bathrooms for the ladies are so a instructor should stroll with them once they wish to go to the bathroom.
“I additionally put some issues collectively for the college. In the meanwhile I can nonetheless ship my daughter to high school with a sandwich, however it’s good to know that if we will’t present any extra the college may also help.
“We sorted meals for at the moment however I don’t know what we’re going to do tomorrow and on Thursday,” she stated. “The varsity all the time offered good meals for the youngsters. Rice and tinned fish or one thing like that. They offer them rooster and pasta. Actually good meals. They all the time give them greens. We actually attempt our greatest however that is horrible. The varsity is in a foul spot.
“Final yr, I took my baby out of Grade R after gangsters bumped into the classroom and began threatening the instructor.
Final yr, the physique of a girl who had been brutally raped and murdered was present in a subject adjoining to the college the place the Grade R courses are.
Provincial authorities spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima stated the losses have been reported to the Jap Cape Division of Schooling’s district workplace “with the intention to acquire misplaced objects” and restore security on the college.
Neighborhood chief Christian Martin stated the college was in a harmful place. “There are a number of gang actions. The heartbreaking half is that we because the mother and father and the brothers are those that stole from our personal children. I say we as a result of I’m a part of all people. That’s the lowest which you could go. The division should additionally assist us. They have to come on board.
“The necessity for meals in that space is huge. The earnings sources there are grants, pensions, drug posts and taverns — the youngsters want the meals.
“However we don’t wish to be seen as victims. The group should discover out who has carried out this. We should go there and go get our kids’s meals again. Ons moet die ding vasvat. With out violence.
“We should then take them out of the group. The taverns should cease offering a protected home for these folks.
“All that meals is quite a bit to get away with … folks will already know who did it. One in all our group members has put out a reward for data,” Martin stated. DM/MC
In the event you may also help with non-perishable meals, bread, juice focus, greens or rice, rooster and pasta for the youngsters, please electronic mail Estelle Ellis on [email protected]