The start to the 2024 academic year has been marred by a fire at a high school in Phoenix, north of Durban.
It is alleged that the fire broke out at the Phoenix Secondary School late on Tuesday night.
Emergency responders responded to the fire just after 9pm.
KZN VIP said response officers confirmed that the library and administration area was on fire.
"According to members of the public, when the fire started, they noticed two people jumping over the school wall. There were no injuries reported," KZN VIP stated.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance has expressed concern at the apparent arson attack at the school.
"The fire is said to have gutted significant parts of the premises and a preliminary assessment report given to our constituency head in the area, Bradley Singh, suggests that text books and stationery intended for distribution when schools open, have also been destroyed together with the library," said the DA's spokesperson on Education, Dr Imran Keeka.
A fire broke out at a school in Phoenix, Durban last night. When emergency responders arrived at the school, they found that the library and admin area were well alight. Residents claimed to have seen 2 men jumping over the wall. No injuries were reported. pic.twitter.com/Fgw3KxDA7D— Se-Anne Rall (@seannerall) January 17, 2024
He said the fire appears to have been started as a deliberate act ahead of the first day of the 2024 school year.
Keeka called for swift police action.
"The investigation must be swift especially since there are eye witness reports of alleged perpetrators leaving the promises shortly after the fire started,“ Keeka said.
“We call upon [the SA Police Service] SAPS to work closely with the community and fire investigators to gather as much evidence as they can while expeditiously hunting down those who have allegedly committed this miserable crime,” he said.
“The impact on learning and teaching will be immense and this is very unfortunate.”