Posh girls' school reeling after man found skulking in hostel
Roedean scrambles to boost security after guards collar suspect hiding in the roof
Parents of pupils at a top private school for girls in Johannesburg are in shock following the arrest of a 22-year-old man who allegedly broke into a boarding house on Saturday.Roedean School in Parktown sent a letter to parents on Monday informing them of the incident.
The school’s executive head, Murray Thomas, confirmed in a statement that no one had been physically harmed and that nothing had been stolen.
“The girls were safely in their rooms throughout the event. A single suspect, who was involved and detected on video, was apprehended and placed in police custody.”Thomas and staff were on hand to deal with the matter and communicate to boarders, parents and the broader community.
“Roedean holds the safety and wellbeing of our girls as a priority. We continue to work with security, local authorities and neighbouring schools and businesses to improve the overall security of the area.”
Thomas confirmed that there had been several other petty incidents in the past few months where “small quantities of computer equipment were stolen”.
“We are in the process of reviewing these incidents and also the security measures that we have in place.”
A parent who did not what to be named said: “It is alarming, but I think the school takes these incidents very seriously, and I’m confident about the security measures they’re taking.”The tuition fees for pupils in grades 10 to 12 at Roedean were R142,973 this year if paid by or before the end of January.
A parent told Times Select that another parent had been robbed while dropping off his child at the school recently. It is not clear whether the robbery took place inside or outside the school.
Hillbrow police spokesperson Sergeant Mduduzi Zondo confirmed a suspect was charged with business robbery.
Bovhani Ramovha appeared in the Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court on Monday and was remanded in custody pending a bail application.
Zondo said the school’s security had spotted a man hiding in the roof of the hostel, and apprehended him.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was reported yesterday as saying he was “appalled and galled” by burglaries, break-ins and vandalism at some provincial government schools.“A theft ring is preying on schools, stealing computers and other electronics. The thieves are not just stealing property, they are stealing our children’s education.”
In a recent written reply to the Gauteng legislature, Lesufi said that in the past four years there had been 101 break-ins at schools.
There were 20 break-ins reported at FW Nkomo High while Bokgoni Technical School had nine in the 2016/17 financial year.