20 September 2017

South Africa: ANC Condemns Torching of Buildings At CPUT

Photo: Cape Peninsula University of Technology
A staff room at CPUT Mowbray campus after an arson attack.

The ANC has condemned in "the harshest possible terms" the torching of several buildings of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology's (CPUT) campuses in Bellville and Mowbray.

"These criminal acts must be punished using the full might of our law enforcement system as they can never be a justification for any grievance anyone may have had," ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement on Wednesday.

This after a staff room in Mowbray was torched at around 04:00 on Wednesday morning, and a petrol bomb thrown around 22:40 on Tuesday at the Bellville campus, significantly damaging a financial aid office.

Early last Monday morning, a petrol bomb was flung to an engineering workshop on the Cape Town campus.

The protests appear to revolve around student accommodation, unhappiness over campus security and student safety, and insourcing.

Kodwa pointed out that the Department of Higher Education and Training estimated the cost of damage to universities, as a result of protests, at approximately R459m.

"This is money that would be most optimally used to fund the shortages and challenges in our higher education system rather than addressing unnecessary damages," he said.

"Behaviour such as burning university buildings is short-sighted and devoid of any appreciation of the dire need faced by students and our institutions of higher education.

"The ANC calls upon any person with information in relation to these unlawful acts to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies to bring the perpetrators to book."

Kodwa said the university management and the student body must close rank to expose and isolate "these agent provocateurs", should they be within their ranks.

"All stakeholders are further called upon to redouble their efforts to find amicable and lasting solutions to disputes and the restoration of the academic programme."

Source: News24

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