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The department said police informed it about the arrests on Thursday.
This came after it received reports on Wednesday that two other suspects had been found in possession of suspected stolen property believed to be linked to the Botebo-Tsebo Secondary School in Sebokeng Zone 4.
“The third suspect was arrested on the school premises. Allegedly this suspect gained entry to one of the classrooms by breaking a window and then made a fire inside the classroom which burned the tiles and chairs,” the department said in a statement.
“It is also important to note that on Monday, 13 April 2020 the police announced the arrest of forty one (41) suspects for cases relating to the burglary and burning of schools in Gauteng since March 2020.”
At least 67 schools across the province have been burgled and vandalised since the start of the lockdown. On 12 April, the number of affected schools was 55.
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Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi hailed police for the arrests and encouraged community members to alert cops about criminals who were vandalising schools.
“Indeed, we are delighted and indebted to the police for sterling work in arresting these recalcitrants, who persist with disregarding regulations enforced during this critical moment of lockdown. We don’t understand where they find time to commit these crimes because everyone should be at home,” Lesufi said.
“We wish that these criminals will rot in jail. We will not get tired of encouraging members of our communities to continue to alert the police about criminals who torment our schools.”
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