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Vital equipment stolen from Gift of the Givers’ Cape Town office during early morning break-in

Vital equipment stolen from Gift of the Givers’ Cape Town office during early morning break-in
The Gift of the Givers is counting the costs after a break-in at its Cape Town offices early on Monday, 9 January. A laptop was confirmed as stolen, and other items are still being checked. (Photo: Supplied / Gift of the Givers)

‘It’s a total mess at the moment,’ said Gift of the Givers’ Western Cape project manager, Ali Sablay, after a break-in at the humanitarian organisation’s Cape Town offices.

The Gift of the Givers’ Cape Town office was broken into early on Monday morning. A laptop, a desktop computer and other office equipment were stolen from the office in Penlyn Estate, said Ali Sablay, Gift of the Givers’ Western Cape project manager.

He told Daily Maverick that when staff arrived on Monday morning, they saw a main gate open and became suspicious.

gift of the givers theft

Gift of the Givers project manager Ali Sablay. (Photo: Sandisiwe Shoba)

“They saw the building; it was completely ransacked… it’s a total mess at the moment,” said Sablay.

“The main laptop has been stolen from our office lady — it’s very, very unfortunate for the underprivileged people of the Western Cape because, on that laptop, people register for food parcels.”

The laptop was also used to register schools for food gardens and stationery.

gift of the givers office

The Gift of the Givers office in Penlyn Estate, Cape Town after a break-in on Monday, 9 January. (Photo: Supplied / Gift of the Givers)

gift of the givers

Gift of the Givers’ office in Penlyn Estate, Cape Town was broken into early on Monday, 9 January. The humanitarian organisation says it is still busy determining if personal protective equipment was stolen, but confirmed a laptop and other equipment had been taken. (Photo: Supplied/Gift of the Givers)

“So these people not only stole from Gift of the Givers, [but] from people as well. Information has to be recaptured and people have to come again,” said Sablay.

He said TVs and desks were also stolen, along with awards and certificates. Gift of the Givers was still trying to establish whether personal protective equipment and medication for diseases such as high blood pressure were among the stolen items. 

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The organisation was busy providing relief to residents of Philippi, Masiphumelele and Khayelitsha, which had been hit by fires in recent days.

“Last week, our teams were making up clothing packs for the six fires in the Western Cape… to distribute to fire victims — that, unfortunately, has all been stolen as well,” said Sablay. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Thousands left homeless as blaze ravages Cape Town informal settlements

Sablay said the organisation thanked community members who had assisted the police with investigating the break-in. However, Sablay said there were elements within communities who could have been responsible for the break-in while their families benefited from services provided by Gift of the Givers.

“It could have been your mother, your grandmother’s name on that laptop,” said Sablay. “This does not affect Gift of the Givers’ operations; this was not our warehouse that was broken into, it was our office that was broken into.”

This was a setback for communities who needed aid from the organisation, as “that will be a bit delayed now”. Sablay appealed for anyone in the area who might be offered a used laptop for sale to come forward.

“Lansdowne police are investigating a case of a business break-in. No arrest has been made at this stage,” said police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk.

Anyone with information about this incident is requested to contact the Lansdowne police station at 021 700 9046/43 or Crime Stop at 08600 10111. DM

Update: SAPS confirmed on Tuesday morning that 10 suspects had been arrested for possession of stolen property. Daily Maverick will provide the details of the recovery of goods in a forthcoming story. 

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    Is nothing sacred in this country anymore? The Gift of the Givers is doing brilliant work and has been for decades. so now some lazy and worthless creeps decide to rob them and here we are hoping for SA to become the democracy promised by the so called ‘struggle’ mob! shame on them and on what they have nurtured in the days of freedom that this mob promised!

  • Patterson Alan John says:

    Thank you for all the good stuff you do, so here is a kick in the guts!
    I despair for what the country will be like in 20yrs time.
    The situation has deteriorated to the extent that there is a growing perception that what is yours, will soon be mine – one way or another.

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