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38 STUDENTS’ ROOMS BROKEN INTO AT ECOT

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image MBABANE - A student shows how the thieves gained entry into the dormitory in a robbery during the festive holidays. (R) Corn flakes and Cremora coffee creamer belonging to the students, which the robbers prepared in the lunchbox (L) and ate. (Pics: Sithe

MBABANE – Security concern! Students at Eswatini College of Technology (ECOT) are concerned about their security following a burglary that occurred in one of the dormitories.
Students were away when the robbery took place as they had closed on December 13, 2019 for the holidays and returned to school on Sunday evening.


The dormitory, dubbed the ‘New York’ block or also referred to as Labotsibeni, which has a total of 38 rooms, was broken into while the students were on break.
It is believed the break-ins have been happening for a long time.


Valuables belonging to the students including, Lenovo Desktop, sneakers, clothing, blankets, electrical appliances, cash and toiletry were taken.
Feared


In an interview with some of the students, they said they now feared for their safety following the robbery as it seemed like in some of the rooms, the burglar bars were tampered with.
They said as much as they appreciated that security was beefed-up at the institution, they would like same to happen at the dormitories.


“We have only one security guard manning the dormitories and sometimes during weekends he does not work,” some of the students said.
The scholars said by the look of things, the burglary happened overtime and the thieves had all the time in the world to remove the glass windows by the doors and break into their lockers, taking cereal among other items, which they had the audacity to eat while relaxing inside their rooms.


They also suspected that it might have been an inside job.
The students were also of the view that management failed to address the matter in a reasonable manner as they only addressed them when they returned from the holidays.
They argued that the boarding master could have at least addressed them about the robbery earlier because the institution already knew about it.
“When we arrived, we were met by the ransacked dormitories, without anyone explaining the situation to us,” said the students.


According to the students, they arrived at the college on Sunday evening to be met by the dormitories which were turned upside down with removed glasses at the top of the doors.


Reported


Further, the students said what added salt to injury was the fact that when they reported to the institution’s authorities, requesting that their locks be changed, they were told to do it themselves without involving the institution.
 They further said the boarding master told them that he was not around when the burglary happened.


When reached for comment on the matter, ECOT Principal Nomcebo Nhlengetfwa confirmed to have received a report from the security personnel at the college regarding the break-in.
However, she said the report was verbal and she was still waiting for something recorded or written down from the security officer in charge.
Nhlengetfwa said according to the security report, they had also recorded statements at the police station. 


Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati said nothing had been reported yet to the police.
However, she said they would be visiting the institution to find out what had actually happened.

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