UJ SRC condemns 'malicious damage' after fire guts auditorium

16 May 2016 - 12:12 By TMG Digital


It took three fire trucks to control the blaze that engulfed the Sanlam Auditorium on the University of Johannesburg’s Kingsway campus overnight. Nana Radebe from the City of Johannesburg’s Emergency Management Services said that firefighters responded to the blaze at about 2am on Monday morning.Radebe said it took them over an hour an a half to extinguish the fire‚ and Radebe said that the cause could not be determined‚ but an preliminary investigation would commence on Monday.UJ’s spokesperson could not be reached for comment‚ but had told Eyewitness New that it was not known how the fire had started.EWN later reported that security was tight at the campus with access being strictly controlled.The campus’ Student Representaive Council - UJ Kingsway SRC ‏@UJAPK_SRC - took to Twitter and said‚ “Yes! The Sanlam Auditorium has burnt down to the ground & e-labs affected heavily. We will release a statement soon.”We will release a statement on the burning of the Sanlam Auditorium & the 24hr study centre, E-labs. We condemn malicious damage. @UJAPK_SRC— Rethabile Ntshinga (@Rethabile001) May 16, 2016async Campus SRC chairperson Rethabile Ntshinga - ‏@Rethabile001 – later tweeted: “We will release a statement on the burning of the Sanlam Auditorium & the 24hr study centre‚ E-labs. We condemn malicious damage.”An earlier tweet by Ntshinga said she had been informed of the indcident by the vice-chancellor: “You know the Uni is burning when you are woken up by a call from the VC. It's going to be a long day!”#UJFire trended in Johannesburg with many users seeming to suspect protesting students for the blaze.Thabiso ‏@tmadiba wanted to know: “Excuse my ignorance but what is the protest about? #UJfire”. Where does this culture of burning our key service structures inherited from? #Ujfire#Vuwani#VUTprotest— mavhungu (@divhambelemaano) May 16, 2016async The latter two hashtags referred to schools in Limpopo that were torched recently and the Vaal University of Technology where operations were cancelled following a fire attack last week.Major General ‏@EliasChinemore said: “I have no respect for those who burnt down our Schools & Varsity‚what's going on South Africa? why burning essential infrastructure? #UJFire”. - TMG Digital

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