Johannesburg – A robbery during Heritage Day weekend at a Johannesburg South school has been called a “blessing in disguise” by the school’s principal.
WH Coetzer Primary school in The Hill, Johannesburg South, was robbed of vital staff computers, cameras and other equipment.
“One of the caretakers phoned me on the Saturday morning telling me the school was broken into. They tied up the security guards, cut through the roof and got into the administration block where our offices are,” said Principal Rachel Mbedzi.
“They broke the doors to access our offices. It was so bad…”
Mbedzi said the robbers also stole two plasma TVs the teachers use for lessons as well as desktop computers in the offices.
The timing could not have been worse for the school which was due to close for the term and report cards were due to be handed out.
“We didn’t even have backup computers. We had to give out handwritten report cards,” the principal said.
The news of the robbery made its way to Xolani Gwala’s breakfast show on Radio 702 and luckily, Rami Sassen, CEO of Teljoy happened to be listening in. Teljoy offers rent-to-own household products on a month-to-month contract.
Sassen immediately got on the phone to the radio station and said his company would donate seven computers to primary school.
“We are always happy to assist where we can and, as this was such a critical time for the school and their learners, it was an absolute pleasure to have been able to step in,” said Sassen.
Mbedzi called the robbery something of a blessing in disguise.
“Those (stolen) computers were so old. Now with these new computers we made the teachers sign contracts for them so they can take them home because they’re laptops.
“These computers are new and so much faster!”
But the school still needs more, says Mbedzi.
“We need a media centre for our pupils. We have only a library with old equipment.”
The Teljoy boss challenged other companies and individuals to get on board and help this and other schools.