Wits beefs up security after bus burning

2016-02-18 19:00
(Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

(Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg - Additional security guards were patrolling the University of Witwatersrand's campuses following the torching of a bus outside one of its residences, it said on Thursday.

The bus was set alight outside the Knockando Halls of Residence in Rockridge Road, Parktown, around 23:00 on Tuesday, the university said in a statement on its website.

"This act is a direct violation of the court interdict obtained by the university. Should the individuals be identified and if they are students, they will be suspended from the Wits campus immediately," it said.

The decision to beef up security was to ensure the safety of staff, students, and property.

The bus burning followed a spate of violence at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Walter Sisulu University (WSU) campuses this week, which led to a number of students being arrested for public violence and malicious damage to property.

On Monday, UCT students erected a shack on Residence Road and cordoned off an area, calling it Shackville. This was intended to highlight accommodation shortages in residences, which they said did not affect white students. They claimed that black students were being treated badly.

Seven students and one other person were arrested after the busts of Jan Smuts and Maria Emmeline Barnard Fuller were spray-painted red, and paintings removed from buildings and set alight. A shuttle bus was also set alight.

The eight were released on bail on Wednesday afternoon and the case was postponed to March 30.

On Tuesday, 51 WSU students charged with public violence appeared in court and were released on bail, following violent protests on the university’s East London campus.

In Mthatha, WSU students set fire to several of the university's fleet cars, damaged other property, and looted the campus warehouse and kitchen.

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