R2.6m worth of tablets for public schools stolen

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Close to 100 schools may have to wait for a delivery of tablets and IT teaching equipment after a robbery in Bramley which saw thieves get away with 1 600 tablets as well as laptops and servers from a key supplier of IT to public and private schools in South Africa.

The offices of MIB Technology, the firm whose learning portal is at the heart of schools in the paperless classrooms pilot launched by Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi in January this year, were broken into on Tuesday evening. According to MIB’s founder and CEO, VIvian Naidoo, thieves broke in through upper office windows and made off with the equipment which was due to be delivered over the next month.

MIB is also the supplier to Sunward Park in Boksburg, the first public school in South Africa to go paperless.

The tablets were being prepared with software installations for a new project in a different province. As well as tablets and laptops destined for schools, office laptops and servers were also stolen, as were hard drives stored in a portable cabinet.

“It’s clear that they knew what they were looking for,” says Naidoo, who added that he currently has private investigators examining CCTV footage as well as the police.

“It’ll take us about a month to get back on track with this particular project,” Naidoo said.

The tablets were manufactured by Prestigo, and valued at R2.6m in total. Naidoo has appealed to anyone with information to contact the police urgently.

[Main image – MIB offices, copyright Google]

Adam Oxford

Adam Oxford

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.