Minister Slams University Arson Attack


Hours before mid-year examinations were set to commence at the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape, parts of the campus were set on fire and vandalised. The institution has launched a full investigation into the incident.



The University of Fort Hare (UFH) has confirmed through CCTV footage that the foyer of its indoor sports centre of the Alice campus was destroyed by fire on Sunday evening.

According to UFH spokesperson JP Roodt, furniture was also torched, a university shop was vandalised, and windows of a computer lab were smashed.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande issued a statement condemning the arson and vandalism attack at the university and noted that government will not tolerate any destruction of property, regardless of the reasons behind protests.

Arson, vandalism, and intimidation will never justify or cannot be associated with any legitimate forms of protest and should be condemned unequivocally by all, including by student themselves.

He stressed that the university must subject all students involved in this incident to internal disciplinary processes to uphold the institution’s standards and principles.

Nzimande also commended the institution's staff and students for their swift response to containing the raging fire.

Exam Timetable

Meanwhile, it is alleged that some students were unhappy with the upcoming examination schedule, particularly raising concerns about the close spacing of exams and limited preparation time.

Roodt notes that students and faculties were consulted about changes to the schedule weeks ago and all complaints were attended to.

Exam module clashes were brought to the attention of the examinations department by faculties and students, and adjustments were made; and no formal complaint over the exams timetable clashes, as a student affairs concern affecting the majority of the student body, was brought to management by the SRC.

Despite the incident, UFH management issued a statement affirming students that exams will proceed as scheduled, undeterred by the unfortunate event.

The university also announced its intention to procure additional security services to closely monitor examination venues, as the incident serves as a reminder of the challenges universities face in maintaining a peaceful academic environment.

Thus far, several suspects have been arrested and appeared in court on Tuesday. 


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