The Economic Freedom Fighters students organisation at the University of Johannesburg (EFF UJ) has denied being part of the perpetrators of the attack at the university in the early hours of Monday which caused damage estimated at about R100 million
The attack on the university saw a 1000 seat of the university’s auditorium being firebombed by arsonists who also destroyed the university’s computer laboratories‚ including equipment used for career assessment and guidance.
Speaking on this, the EFF UJ students chairperson Tshireletso Mati said condemned the act adding that the part played no part in perpetration of the evil act.
“We would like to say the EFF UJ condemns such acts‚ we would also like to condemn the utterances of the UJ SRC president who went on Jacaranda FM today to say the EFF is behind this‚” he said
“As the EFF every time we have issues of students or workers we resolve to legal and robust engagement with management… Since the presence of ‘bouncers’ on campus this is the second incident of this nature on our campuses. How is it possible that there were bouncers on campus but they didn’t see or hear anything? The bouncers could be responsible for this..” Mati added
Though the University authority has provided alternative auditorium for the graduation ceremonies and mid-year assessments, they condemned such destructive.
No motive has been given for the attack‚ which follows similar attempted arson attacks at the University of Witwatersrand as well as the gutting of building at North West University’s Mafikeng campus earlier in 2016. Some of the student expressed shock and curiosity over the attack and the motive behind it.
“I was very shocked when I heard that the auditorium has been burnt. My roommates said they heard on the radio and I had to come here do my assignment so I saw it for myself. It’s bad hey‚ what were the bouncers doing when the auditorium burned like this? We don’t even know who did this or what is happening‚ the university said they will release a statement but they still haven’t said anything” a student said.
Meanwhile, the university’s Student Representative Council chairperson‚ Rethabile Ntshinga‚ called for a quick action to against the arsonists adding that students had issues on campus they would like management to address.
“We as the SRC did not pinpoint any group of people and say they are responsible for this. We would like the law to take its course and we will wait on results from the investigations‚” he said.
“We have a serious problem with the bouncers which are all over campus. We don’t feel safe but intimidated. We also want the school to clear 12 students they arrested a few weeks ago for protesting before their exams start‚”
The university authority has however promised to join hands with authorities to track down the criminals.
“We will do everything within our power and in cooperation with the authorities to track these criminals down‚ prosecute them and send them to prison for as long as possible‚”UJ’s deputy vice chancellor Mpho Letlape said.