Nzimande condemns torching of UKZN Westville residence

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Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande.
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande.
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  • Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande has called on the university community to assist law enforcement agencies in their investigation into the torching of a residence.
  • Nzimande also called on university vice-chancellors to tighten security at campuses.
  • The university's SRC distanced itself from the act.

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande has condemned the torching of the Oval Residence at University of KwaZulu-Natal's (UKZN) Westville campus on Monday.

Nzimande called on management to work with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.

The minister also called on the university's staff and students to isolate, identify and expose those who continue to vandalise the institution's property.

He said the university community must give law enforcement agencies the relevant information that would result in the arrest of the perpetrators.

An arson case is under investigation.

WATCH | Third UKZN building torched, academic programme at all campuses suspended

"The destruction of university property is a criminal offence and all those engaging in such acts must be arrested and face the full might of the law.

"These are criminals must be totally removed from our institutions. They do not deserve to be within our institutions but belong in jail," Nzimande said.

Nzimande said the university community needed to preserve and protect existing infrastructure while the government continued to invest billions in improving higher education and training facilities.

He called on university vice-chancellors to tighten up security measures and protect staff members and students.

News24's sister publication, The Witness, reported on Monday that the university called the incident "cowardly and random".

SRC president Sifiso Simelane also condemned the torching and disassociated himself from it. Simelane implored those responsible to "do the right thing" by handing themselves over to the police.


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