Durban – The University of KwaZulu-Natal has vowed that those responsible for the torching of a residence at its campus be brought to book.
The Oval student residence at the Westville campus was set alight in the early hours of Monday.
Normah Zondo, acting executive director: corporate relations, said UKZN’s leadership had expressed outrage over what appears to be a random incident.
“This is the same building that was closed due to significant concerns with the condition of the building. Campus security and police were alerted after the flames were spotted in the early hours of Monday morning. Luckily no one was injured.”
UKZN’s vice-chancellor, Professor Nana Poku, said the damages were estimated to run into millions of rand, money “that the university does not have given the previous wanton destruction and violence that engulfed our institution”.
“We have called for a forensic investigation into the matter, and those responsible will be brought to book,” said Poku.
In a statement, the university said its management and all stakeholders had decided to close the Oval residence indefinitely to ensure the safety of students.
“This heartless act of destruction affects all of us and points to the fact that we are still facing an onslaught from criminal activists set on destroying our university. Ironically, this act of vandalism comes as the university begins its back-to-campus campaign in earnest under level 1 lockdown,” Poku said.
UKZN confirmed that a case of arson had been opened with SAPS.
“Our internal investigators are working closely with SAPS to ensure that all perpetrators of this horrific act are brought to justice.”