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UKZN Arsonists Need to be Arrested, Says Nzimande



UKZN Arsonists Need to be Arrested, Says Nzimande

UKZN Arsonists Need to be Arrested, Says Nzimande. Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr. Blade Nzimande, has strongly condemned the recent arson attack at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and has called for the immediate arrest of those responsible. The incident, which involved the burning of the William O’Brien examination venue at the Pietermaritzburg campus, has heightened tensions amid ongoing student protests.

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Incident and Reaction

Earlier this week, the examination venue was deliberately set ablaze, an act that has been accompanied by reports of intimidation towards both staff and students. The criminal activities are believed to be connected to the student protests that have been ongoing at the university.

“These are pure acts of criminality, and those who are behind them must be identified, shamed, and arrested irrespective of who they are,” Nzimande stated emphatically.

Nzimande expressed his satisfaction that a case of public violence has been registered. He noted that the university is actively collaborating with law enforcement agencies to ensure those responsible for the arson and intimidation are brought to justice.

Call for SRC and University Cooperation

The Minister urged the university’s Student Representative Council (SRC) to denounce these criminal acts. He emphasized the importance of the SRC working in unison with university management and law enforcement to identify and hold accountable the individuals responsible. Nzimande stressed that these acts are not only criminal but also intended to hinder the academic progress of students.

“Should it be established that there are students behind these criminal acts, they must be subjected to the university’s internal disciplinary processes,” Nzimande asserted. “Arson, vandalism, and intimidation are counter-revolutionary and will not justify any legitimate forms of protest. These actions should be condemned unequivocally by all, including by the students themselves.”

Government Investment in University Infrastructure

Highlighting the government’s commitment to improving educational infrastructure, Nzimande pointed out that the Department of Higher Education and Training is investing approximately R8.662 billion across all 26 universities during the 2023/24 to 2025/26 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period. This substantial investment is aimed at enhancing the infrastructure of universities to benefit current and future students.

“This is amongst the reasons that the government will not tolerate individuals who would want to deny the current and future generations from enjoying better and improved infrastructure in the post-school education and training sector,” Nzimande declared.


The call to action by Minister Nzimande underscores the seriousness with which the government views the arson and related criminal activities at UKZN. By urging the arrest of the perpetrators and calling for collaboration between the SRC, university management, and law enforcement, Nzimande aims to ensure a safe and conducive environment for learning, free from violence and intimidation. The government’s investment in educational infrastructure further reinforces its commitment to the development and enhancement of the higher education sector in South Africa.

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