DURBAN – Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande on Thursday vehemently condemned the torching of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Oval student residence building.
The UKZN Oval student residence at the Westville campus was set alight during the early hours of Monday morning, according to reports.
The circumstances surrounding the fire remain unclear.
Nzimande has urged the university management team to join forces with law enforcement officials to bring the culprits behind the arson to book.
Nzimande added that the university’s vice-chancellors needed to tighten up security measures in order to protect the livelihoods of staff and members.
“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 in a statement on Thursday.
The minister also urged students and staff of the university to expose the perpetrators responsible for the constant vandalism of the university.
“These are criminals who must be totally removed from our institutions. They do not deserve to be within our institutions but belong in jail,” he added.
Images and videos circulating on social media show that the entire resident A block was destroyed.
— Mthiyane⛰👷🏾♂️ (@SpeshZondo) October 11, 2020
UKZN’s vice-chancellor, Professor Nana Poku, said the damage was estimated to run into millions of rand.
Poku said the university had requested a forensic investigation.
The Oval residence has since been closed on the authority of the university management and its stakeholders.
A case of arson has been opened at the police