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Wed May 25 13:10:21 SAST 2016

Wits bus set alight as protests rage on

Staff Reporter | 19 February, 2016 01:03
No one was hurt but the bus has been destroyed. No suspects have yet been identified. File photo
Image by: Gallo Images/ IStock

A bus was set alight at a Wits university residence as violence continued to mar student protests at universities.

"The university confirms that a bus was set alight just after 11pm [on Wednesday] outside the Knockando Halls of Residence in Rockridge Road in Parktown," the University of the Witwatersrand said yesterday.

No one was hurt but the bus has been destroyed. No suspects have yet been identified.

At the University of Cape Town this week, a Jammie shuttle bus was torched and vice-chancellor Max Price's office was petrol-bombed. In addition, artwork was burnt, including that of anti-apartheid activists.

Wits management said: "The university strongly condemns this malicious damage of property and we will do whatever we can to bring the culprits responsible for this incident to book, in line with the university's policies and procedures, and the law.

"This act is a direct violation of the court interdict obtained by the university.

"Should the individuals be identified and if they are students, they will be suspended from the Wits campus immediately."

The Student Representative Council at Wits did not directly comment on the burnt bus on its Twitter feed.

Instead, there was this brief response when Ryan James Smith @kingjames0611 tweeted: "Burning Wits buses is not helping anyone especially not the poorer students."

Wits said additional security officers have been deployed throughout campus.

"These acts divert much-needed resources that we require for accommodation, food and academic resources to support and serve our students, particularly those who are poor," the university said.

"We, as a university community, need to collectively act against these criminals.

"We must identify them and exclude them from our community immediately."

The university has opened a case at the Parkview Police Station.

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