SAPS say they can't probe alleged abduction of 162 Tirelong pupils

The provincial Education Department claims a drunk mob, apparently the children’s parents, removed them from the Boons Mega Farm School on Tuesday night.

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

sJOHANNESBURG - Police in the North West said they couldn't investigate a case of alleged abduction without a formal complaint, following the removal of 162 children from a boarding school in the province.

The provincial Education Department claims a drunk mob, apparently the children’s parents, removed them from the Boons Mega Farm School on Tuesday night.

This comes after the community became angry with the department when the pupils were taken to the boarding school, far away from their homes, after their school - Tirelong Secondary - was vandalised during the holidays.

Tirelong Secondary has been vandalised a number of times and to remedy this, the department decided to arrange for alternative accommodation for children.

Parents, however, have demanded that a new school be built as promised.

The department insists that the children were taken against their will.

“We are still conducting an audit to find out if all these kids are safe wherever they have taken them to. Some are calling the department pleading with us to arrange transport to take them back,” said department spokesperson Elias Malindi.

Tirelong school governing body chair Nkhanedzeni Mungomeni said they were not consulted about the children being moved.

“They said after three years, they’re going to build a school. We’ve been waiting and waiting.”

The SGB, however, could not confirm nor deny whether the children's own parents are behind the their removal.