NAPTOSA is appalled at the spate of school robberies that have already occurred since the commencement of the new school year and also during the past school holiday.

It is clear that the constitutional principle that the interest of the child is paramount, means very little to the criminal elements in our communities. Whilst the criminality of robbing schools must be condemned in the strongest terms, the criminality of robbing children of learning opportunities is far worse.

NAPTOSA believes that the harshest sentences possible should be imposed on those that are found guilty of this particular crime.

From media reports it appears that in many cases these robberies are not of a random nature, but part of organized crime by syndicates. We call on the SAPS to improve its crime intelligence in this regard and for communities to be vigilant and, where the identity of the perpetrators are known, to work with the police to have them apprehended. Severe punishment should also befall those that buy the stolen goods.

As much as the children suffer as a result of these robberies, so do our educators. It means having to make alternative learning arrangements and often do catch-up work where the loss of resources prevent learning from taking place. To those educators affected, NAPTOSA says “Stay strong, continue the good work you’re doing and let’s trust that our criminal justice system will assist in removing this menace from our society”.