Confusion over alleged abduction of 162 children from NW school hostel

The Education Department said that it had received information that 162 children were snatched from the Boons Mega Farm School on Tuesday. The police said that no kidnapping case was opened, however, the school principal has laid a complaint of malicious damage to property.

FILE: Tirelong Secondary has been vandalised at least five times, with the most recent incident seeing the school robbed of electric cables, taps, roofing, books, window frames and doors. Picture: Masechaba Sefularo/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - North West police are trying to piece together the bizarre timeline of events that unfolded at the Tirelong Secondary School on Tuesday night.

The Education Department said that it was investigating reports that 162 children were abducted from their hostel by a group of drunk people pretending to be parents.

The department said that according to the information that it had received, a group of people arrived in two vehicles, a truck and a bakkie, at the hostel where children were being accommodated at the Boons Mega Farm School.

They were allegedly barred entry by security guards because they failed to prove that they were parents.

However, the department said that it was told that the boys then broke out of the hostels and were transported by the alleged drunken convoy.

The North West Education Department's Elias Malindi: "We are in possession of video clips to substantiate that these were not parents. What is disturbing us more is that they don't take the learners to their homes, they leave them on the streets. They've exposed the lives of our children to extreme danger. We want the police to arrest everyone involved in this unacceptable practice."

The police's Adele Myburgh, however, said that the school principal opened a case of malicious damage to property but no parent has opened a case of abduction as being claimed by the school.

"The school principal yesterday morning opened a case for malicious damage to property. That is the only case that's been opened so far. We'd like to urge all parents involved in this alleged incident to please come forward and report it to local police so that we can investigate," Myburgh said.