The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Limpopo have made a breakthrough in their case involving a string of school burglaries in the Thohoyandou area, making an additional two arrests.
Police also managed to recover several items they believe were stolen during the commission of the crimes, including five laptops and two WiFi routers.
According to Limpopo SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, the suspects were spotted by community members who then alerted the authorities. Police were subsequently able to respond swiftly and pounced on the men, aged between 22 and 27. One of the suspects was found in possession of the items.
"Preliminary police investigations have revealed that the recovered items were linked to the burglary incidents which occurred at Tshishonga primary school and Mphaphuli secondary school some weeks back", Mojapelo said.
The suspects are due in the Thohoyandou Magistrate's court on Monday, 25 May 2020.
Other suspects denied bail
At the same time, two other suspects, Rose Vurangu (23) and Shandukani Mabila (26) made an appearance in the same court on Friday, 22 May 2020, where their bail was denied and they were remanded in custody.
Vurangu and Mabila were handcuffed after being found in possession of items linked to the burglary incident at Tshishonga Primary. The matter has been postponed to 3 June 2020 for a formal bail application.
Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has commended the officers who worked on the case for successfully apprehending the suspects.
"I take this time to also thank our community members for continuously providing valuable information to the police that assists in arresting the suspects and recovering the stolen properties", concluded General Ledwaba.
The SAPS has said investigations into various break-ins at various Thohoyandou schools are ongoing.
In April, seven people were arrested in relation to several burglaries at school in Mankweng, which is nearly 200km away from Thohoyandou.
Schools have been empty since the lockdown was implemented, which has seen a drastic spike in incidents of vandalism and theft across the country.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has condemned the crimes and has vowed to work with her Police counterpart Bheki Cele, to get to the bottom of the incidents.
"It is quite disheartening that criminal elements in our communities could destroy the infrastructure of their own children with such apparent impunity", Motshekga said.