The Police in Vhembe have arrested three women for theft of food meant for needy learners at Muratho Primary School in Ha-Thukhutha outside Thohoyandou. The three identified as Fhulufhelo Mabege, Brenda Maruge, and Ndivhuwo Matamela, were arrested on Friday, 23 February.

This is after the discovery of food items hidden in bushes behind the building where food for learners is cooked.

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They were charged with theft and possession of suspected stolen goods. The three Women appeared in the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court, Limpopo on Monday 26th and were all granted bail of R1,000 each. They will make another court appearance on 9 April 2024.

The theft at Muratho Primary School incident is reportedly not an isolated case. Last week, residents of Makwarela stumbled upon a man who had stolen food items at Mmbara Primary School. Police were summoned to investigate, and the suspect was found in possession of stolen tins of fish and fresh milk. He has since been arrested.

Thohoyandou Women arrested for stealing food meant for school kids at Ha-Thukhutha
Food meant for needy learners at Ha-Thukhutha


Vhembe Concerned Group chairperson Richard Ramabulana has hailed the arrests. He says they were long overdue.

“This is a common occurrence at our schools, but in most cases, these crimes are not reported to the police,” Ramabulana told Limpopo Mirror.

“We applaud the schools that took the bold stand to report this to the police. It is quite saddening that the food that is being stolen is meant for the poor learners,” he added.

Ramabulana has also called on the Department of Education to increase security measures at schools, especially where the food is being stored.

“We are also calling upon principals to be accountable for food apportioned to their schools by the department. If there is proper accountability, no food will be stolen at schools. Principals should be the ones handing out foodstuffs to be used daily, and theft will no longer occur.”