“The lives of those at Salt River High School are at risk.”
These are the words of the school’s secretary, Faldielah Adams, who is still in shock after men armed with guns entered the school before 7am on Friday October 20 and took her cellphone.
Ms Adams who was in her office, checking her messages at the time was confronted by one of the men who demanded the keys to the school safe, but Ms Adams informed them that there was none.
“I was busy checking my messages, when I looked up and saw guy standing in front of me. There was one in the room, one on the staircase and one outside. I had such a shock. I thought I would rather not retaliate because the guys had guns in their pants.
“No one saved me. No one rescued me,” she said in response to media reports which had indicated otherwise.
“They took my phone, came into my private space. There was no one else here but the caretaker and myself. They walked in, the gates were open, because the kids normally come in. That particular day everyone was late (due to) unforeseen circumstances,” said Ms Adams.
She added that there was no security at the school apart from the groundsman who opened the school gates in the morning.
Now she has called on the education department to improve security measures at the school.
“Our lives are at risk at the school, The department is providing security at the school for two weeks, but what’s going to happen after that? They need to come to the party and assist us, not (former) Model C schools. The police were here and they did a good job but school went on as normal,” said Ms Adams.
The Western Cape Education Department’s, director of communications, Paddy Attwell, confirmed that the school had reported the incident to Safe Schools and the district office as well as police who immediately set out to find the men.
“The few learners on the premises did not witness the incident. Our employee wellness service providers will provide counselling to the secretary and caretaker,” said Mr Attwell.
Woodstock police station’s spokesperson, Sergeant Hilton Malila, confirmed that two men, with a firearms had approached Ms Adams and fled with her phone and cash.
“The investigation in the matter continues.We don’t have any description of the suspects at this stage,” he said.
Anyone with information or who witnessed the incident is ask to contact the investigation officer Constable Donovan Petersen on 021 486 2840 or crime stop on 0800 10111.