Extra security is in place, guards have been stationed and counselling has been arranged for at Kingswood College learners and staff after two intruders, one wielding a screwdriver and the other a firearm, robbed the housemother and a learner of their cellphones at a girls’ hostel around 8pm on Thursday 22 October. No one was injured in the incident.
In a letter to the school community, College Head Colleen Vassiliou said the men had gained access to the hostel grounds by cutting a hole in the security fence. “They then opportunistically attempted to gain access to Kirkby House,” Vassiliou told parents and learners.
“Three pupils were greeting another pupil who had just returned for the first time since lockdown in the foyer of Kirkby House,” Vassiliou explained. “The front door was open at the time for them to meet and greet each other, welcoming their friend back to campus.
“The intruders gained access to Kirkby House through the front door and asked the four pupils for their cellphones and then made their way to the office where the Houseperson and a Grade 11 pupil were working.
“The Houseperson and pupils acted with courage and managed to alert the rest of the house. The intruders then fled the scene,” Vassiliou said. “Hi-Tec and the police were called and were efficient in getting information that will assist in making an arrest.”
She assured parents that the girls are safe.
“Extra security and guards have been stationed around the perimeter and beams will be erected to provide extra security to the perimeter fencing,” Vassiliou said.
Staff had worked late into the night with the girls in Kirkby House and others affected. Counselling had been arranged for all those affected by the incident, she said.
South African Police spokesperson Captain Khaya Tonjeni confirmed a case of house robbery was opened and is under investigation.
“According to the description provided, one man was tall and thin wearing a purple top and the other one was shorter, wearing a black top,” Tonjeni said.
“The men entered the office of the housemother, who teaches at the school and pointed the screwdriver towards her while demanding her cellphone.
“He then took it from her desk. When she struggled in an attempt to retain her second cellphone, he drew a firearm and threatened her with it.
“The two men left the office and the tall man approached a Kingswood College scholar and took her phone.
“They then left and the house-mother managed to notify the local security company, Hi-Tec who in turn called SAPS.”
Tonjeni said three cellphones were taken in the robbery and a case of house robbery was under investigation.
“None of the victims were injured, although they were badly shaken by the incident.”
No arrests had been made as of Saturday and investigations continued.