Two suspects have been arrested for their alleged role in a spate of attacks on 22 schools in Gauteng since the beginning of the 2020 academic year.
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi welcomed the arrest of the suspects who were caught red-handed on Wednesday.
Lesufi said a 26-year-old man was handed over to the police after residents caught him allegedly stealing from a school.
The suspect had allegedly broken into Tembisa High School in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni.
Another suspect was also caught in the act by residents for allegedly breaking into Tharabollo Secondary School in Evaton, the Vaal.
Lesufi said the second suspect had revealed that together with accomplices, who are known to the police, they were responsible for some burglaries at schools in Sedibeng over the past two weeks.
"Sadly, we wish to update that criminals continued with their concerted effort to derail the future of our children by breaking into and vandalising about 22 schools in Gauteng."
The burglaries and torching of schools occurred in Evaton, Tembisa, Atteridgeville, Mamelodi, Centurion, Mabopane, Olivenhoutbosch, Nelmapius, Derdepoort, Florida, Meyerton, Hammanskraal and Alexandra.
"It is concerning that the latest break-ins take us to a total of 40 criminal activities since the beginning of the lockdown period. Valuable equipment and school nutrition groceries were stolen during the burglaries.
"We would like to thank our communities, especially those who played a significant role in protecting our schools by alerting the police about criminals who were caught in the act of vandalism and stealing our equipment at different schools," Lesufi said.