Cape university claims sabotage by 'small minority' after buses are burnt

13 February 2019 - 19:10 By Aron hyman
Police fire rubber bullets at protesting students at the Western Cape College of Nursing in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Police fire rubber bullets at protesting students at the Western Cape College of Nursing in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Image: Esa Alexander

Two buses belonging to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) were set on fire in suspected arson attacks on Tuesday evening.

The administration building at CPUT’s Bellville campus also came under attack in the early hours of Wednesday.

The attacks come after 21 people were arrested during protests at the Athlone campus of the university’s Western Cape College of Nursing on Tuesday. TimesLIVE reported that students were protesting over a lack of security and water shortages.

The arrests follow a wave of student protests on university campuses across the country since last week.

CPUT management sent out an impassioned plea to students on Wednesday after the arson attacks. It accused “a small minority with a selfish agenda” of holding staff and students to ransom.

“The start of the 2019 academic year has lived up to expectations for the majority of our nearly 36,000 students ... This positive start has, however, been dealt a blow after the institution was the victim of arson and sabotage attacks overnight,” said the university.

“Today, CPUT staff woke up to news that two bus shuttles were torched and that the administration building on the Bellville campus had been stoned. This is demoralising for the dedicated staff, who have already persevered through a traumatising crisis period since 2015.

“Attempts to shut down campuses, disrupt lectures and damage property will never be the answer to effective engagement. We ask for student and staff support as we fend off these attempts to destabilise our institution.”

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said police are investigating the incidents that took place overnight.


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