A Cape Town security guard died after being attacked by robbers who broke into a school days before the return of pupils.
Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said the 59-year-old guard was attacked at a primary school in Manenberg on Saturday.
“The perpetrators assaulted the 59-year-old male while breaking into the school and stealing various items such as kettles, pots, a dishwasher and microwave. He was taken to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.
“A case of attempted murder and housebreaking was opened initially. The case was changed to murder after he died.”
Manenberg police arrested two people. One will be charged with murder, and the other for possession of stolen property.
His death came as a blow on an already difficult first day back at school in Cape Town, with disruptions to transport because of the closure of a major taxi route.
“This is a tragic incident, and our thoughts are with the family in this very difficult period,” said Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer.
She added the education department was generally pleased with the start of the third school term after the long break due to a rise in Covid-19 infections.
However, shootings targeting taxis led to lower than usual school attendance due to the disruptions, particularly in the City Bowl and surrounds.
“These ‘commuter schools’ generally have a high enrolment of pupils from areas on the outskirts of the city centre, with pupils travelling on public transport.
Schäfer said: “One taxi association that commutes learners privately also didn’t operate today due to the threats of violence, which affected attendance. We are, however, thankful that no reported incidents of violence affecting learners have been reported.”
The SA National Defence Force and various policing agencies are patrolling hotspots in case there is a resurgence of violence targeting taxis.
Western Cape police arrested a 38-year-old taxi driver at a checkpoint in Ntlangano Street, Nyanga, on Monday with a 9mm pistol and ammunition that he could not provide a valid licence for.
He is expected to appear in court in Athlone soon.
Schäfer added several schools were also burgled and vandalized, saying information on this would be released later.
Meanwhile, the department is still processing requests from schools which feel they could not handle full classes while the pandemic still exists.
The return to school coincides with the closure of a taxi route between Paarl and Bellville for two months, and a ban on the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association and Congress of SA Democratic Associations from using certain ranks until a route dispute is settled.