DURBAN - Twelve vehicles have been torched at two Durban University of Technology (DUT) campuses over the last five days, says the university.
Eight cars were set alight at the university’s Indumiso campus on Monday morning when unidentified people made their way onto the properties.
DUT spokesperson Smangele Zuma said two areas on the campus were attacked.
“A group of approximately eight to 10 suspects began throwing petrol bombs inside a guardhouse which was situated near the pedestrian gate along Edendale Road. At the time of the attack, a campus security guard was inside the guardhouse. Luckily, he managed to escape unharmed and ran towards the DUT Protection Services offices to alert the security team. As he ran, the officer noticed that the group of suspects who were chasing him had also set a vehicle on fire. The vehicle belonged to the private security company contracted to DUT.
“An internal incident report from the university’s Protection Services personnel confirmed that the suspects then proceeded to the parking area near the Protection Services offices and set alight eight vehicles belonging to the university and to DUT staff members. The suspects then fled towards the gate, which they had initially damaged when they forced entry onto the Indumiso campus. The suspects were seen running towards a white vehicle with ND (Durban) registration plates,” said Zuma.
“The incident report also highlights that students accommodated at the Indumiso campus residence were not part of the attack. Plessislaer SAPS are investigating the attack,” she said.
KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said one charge of intentional destruction of property was opened.
“It is alleged that in the early hours of this morning at 1.15am, a group of unknown people set alight eight vehicles and a guardhouse. Charges of malicious damage to property were opened at Plessislaer police station for investigation. Police are monitoring the situation,” said Mbele.
This latest arson incident comes just days after four vehicles were torched at the university’s Steve Biko campus in Durban.
“On Tuesday, February 15, four vehicles were set alight at DUT’s Steve Biko campus after criminals invaded the campus. This led to the temporary closure of the three Durban campuses, Steve Biko campus, Ritson campus, and ML Sultan campus. These three campuses remain closed until further notice. However, late online registration and online activities are continuing.
The university was granted an interim interdict by the High Court, which protected it against violent protest, property destruction and intimidation of employees and students, among other things. The temporary restraining order is currently in effect, and all appropriate law enforcement agencies have been notified of the court order.
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