Yesterday at 15:20, we received a call from the child care worker accompanying our driver on his school pick up route. She was hysterical. The news that our new Quantum School Bus, full of children who were being collected from school, had been hijacked at gun point outside a local school was almost unbelievable.
Whilst the hijackers eventually dumped the children and staff physically unharmed on the side of the road, the emotional trauma runs deep.
Thanks to Umbilo SAPS, who kindly escorted our other driver into the area to pick up the abandoned children and staff. Our social worker and child care team were on hand to provide everyone with trauma counselling.
But, finding words to express our feelings after this heinous act is difficult. Our previous vehicle was stolen from out of the locked up garage on our property just 19 months ago. This caused great inconvenience, as we struggled to get 74 children to and from the 23 schools they attend, whilst working tirelessly to secure funds to cover the difference between the insurance pay-out and the cost of a new vehicle.
We have been left us discouraged beyond words. We know that incidents such as these have become a common occurrence. The fact that our experience has happened during South Africa’s observance of Child Protection Month, makes it even more compelling for us to refuse to accept the lawlessness that has gripped our country.