'They belong in jail, not university'

Nzimande calls for student arsonists to be arrested

A screenshot from a video circulating online shows part of the Oval Residence at UKZN's Westville campus on fire
A screenshot from a video circulating online shows part of the Oval Residence at UKZN's Westville campus on fire
Image: Supplied

Minister of higher education Blade Nzimande has called on University of KwaZulu-Natal vice-chancellors to tighten up security measures against acts of criminality following the torching of Oval student residence at the Westville campus on Monday. 

Disgruntled students who were recently ordered to vacate the building are suspected in the act.

A student who requested to remain anonymous said the on-campus residence had not been registered with eThekwini municipality for 10 years.

"The building is old and full of cracks so the university told students to move out but did not provide them with alternate accommodation," she said

Nzimande called on the university management, working together with law enforcement agencies, to swiftly bring those responsible for "this shameful and outrageous" act to book.

“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," Nzimande said

Nzimande said the university community, both students and staff, should isolate, identify and expose these criminals who continue to vandalise the university property.

"They have a duty to provide any relevant information to the law enforcement authorities so that the culprits can be brought to book.

“These are criminals who must be totally removed from our institutions; they do not deserve to be within our institutions but belong to jail,” said Nzimande.

He said while the government is continuing to invest billions of rands in improving the infrastructure of post-school education and training institutions, the university community must ensure that it preserves and protects the existing infrastructure. 


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