Damage caused by arson attack at UJ estimated at R100 million

16 May 2016 - 15:32 By Karl Gernetzky And Julia Madibogo

An arson attack at the University of Johannesburg in the early hours of Monday morning caused damage worth R100 million‚ the university said.Julia Madibogo Arsonists firebombed a 1‚000 seat auditorium at its Auckland Park campus at around 2am after breaking into the building. Also destroyed were computer laboratories‚ including equipment used for career assessment and guidance‚ the university said in a statement. Alternative arrangements were being made due to the use of the facilities for graduation ceremonies and mid-year assessments‚ the institution said.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. Julia MadibogoThe university said those responsible for the fire bomb attack were not UJ students.The university's deputy vice chancellor Mpho Letlape told journalists at a media briefing on Monday that he was convinced that outsiders.Julia MadibogoThe university's deputy vice chancellor Mpho Letlape said: "UJ is mandated to empower 52‚000 young people and their families and communities with education‚ skills and the tools to allow them to participate fully in South African economy and we will not allow a miniscule violent minority to destroy the infrastructure necessary for our task."Julia Madibogo"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‚" Letlape said.No one was injured in the attack and no arrests had been made‚ Letlape added.Julia MadibogoThe university constituted a new Students Representative Council (SRC) on Wednesday‚ with the institution saying on Monday it would proceed this week with disciplinary action against 12 students who attempted to disrupt the elections. "The University's security services along with the police are currently reviewing closed circuit video footage and interviewing potential witnesses as they work to identify the arsonists involved in this morning's attack‚" the statement read.The university indicated that it is insured and will make means to organise alternative venue ahead of June student graduations.Meanwhile it was business as usual the Auckland Park campuses with students only passing the auditorium to take pictures.TMG Digital/The Times

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