Police in the Eastern Cape have detained 12 University of Fort Hare (UFH) students, aged 19 to 22, on suspicion of malicious property damage and burglary at business premises.
This comes after a violent protest at the institution on Sunday night against what was believed to be a congested examination timetable.
JP Roodt, a spokesperson for the university, said the institution is still puzzled about what caused the incident.
He stated that accusations spreading on social media about congested exam timetables being the cause of campus violence are unfounded for various reasons.
“Students and faculties were consulted ahead of the exams. 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, were brought to management by the students’ representative council,” Roodt said.
On Sunday night, a group of students allegedly looted a cafeteria and vandalised various UFH properties on the Alice campus.
W/O Majola Nkohli, a police spokesperson, said officers were called to the university shortly after 8 p.m. after a complaint about a violent protest on the Alice campus.
“At the scene police arrested 12 students for alleged malicious damage to property and burglary of a business after the university examination hall was slightly damaged and its furniture removed and torched outside the hall.
“It is alleged a mob then went amok and damaged several surveillance camera systems and looted the institution’s cafeteria,” Nkohli said.
The suspects are due to appear in the Alice magistrate’s court on Tuesday.