Buildings torched overnight at Wits, CPUT and UKZN

    Three buildings were set alight and petrol bombs found at university campuses overnight. The fires were set at Wits University, the Cape Peninsula of Technology (CPUT) and the University of Kwazulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Pietermaritzburg campus.


    Three petrol bombs were found at the Raikes Gate on Wits University’s West Campus, spokesperson Shirona Patel confirms.

    Another two petrol bombs were found outside the John Moffat building with another likely thrown through the window. It is also reported that there was an attempt to set the basement of the John Moffat building alight. The fire was immediately extinguished with no damage to property.

    Parts of the Central Block building have also reportedly been flooded.

    Wits has been operating as usual this week, despite student protests and a low turnout of students in classes.

    On Tuesday, Wits management gave the police complete control of the campus. There remains a heavy security presence at Wits.


    Meanwhile, there was also a fire at CPUT’s Belville campus. The Information Centre and Main Gate has reportedly been set aflame.

    EWN reports that a minibus taxi and at least one other vehicle belonging to private security were torched early on Wednesday morning. CPUT has opened a case of attempted murder following an incident where two security guards were locked inside a burning building.

    CPUT resumed academic activity on Tuesday with a heavy police presence. Violence broke out when Vice-Chancellor, Dr Prins Nevhutalu, refused to meet with protesting students and private security told students he had locked himself in his office.

    Chaos broke out at CPUT when students and security clashed. Students armed themselves with rocks, bottles and sticks against police who fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and teargas.

    Nineteen protesting students have been apprehended following the violent protests at the Belville and Mowbray campuses on Tuesday. According to CPUT spokesperson, Lauren Kansley, charges have been laid against the students.

    CPUT has suspended all academic activity until further notice.

    Public order police are reportedly patrolling the campus searching for protesting students.


    Two students were arrested on Wednesday morning following an arson attack on two buildings at UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus.

    The South African Police Services (SAPS) have confirmed that the DSLT building and the TV lounge at the Malherbe campus were set alight. Reports say that the Malherbe residence had been evacuated late on Tuesday night.

    At the same time, the Council Chambers located at the centre of the campus was petrol bombed.

    Limited damage was reported.


    And finally, the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) was due to resume academic activity on Wednesday morning. However, students have barricaded the entrances of the campus with burning tyres and are not allowing students and management to pass through. Student leaders are calling on management to shut down the university and address their demands of free education.

    There remains a heavy police presence at TUT.

    Featured image via Twitter