Two suspects were arrested after allegedly petrol bombing a guard post at the FET College offices situated in Haig Avenue.
According to police a group of roughly 20 students, unhappy about their schooling fees, set out to display their grievance at the Nkangala FET offices on Monday, March 7.
The offices are situated on the second floor of the office block, at the time two guards were stationed at the gate.
“The group arrived and informed the Nkangala FET employees to remove their vehicles from the parking lot as they wanted to set fire to the building,” said a witness on scene.
The two guards overheard their intentions and immediately closed the gate to the premises preventing the students from gaining entry.
One of the students was in possession of a petrol bomb, another helped him to light it, the student then threw the bomb at the guard post structure setting it ablaze, it took little time before it burnt to the ground.
Police arrived on the scene and the students scattered, they were however able to arrest the two suspects who were pointed out by witnesses, and believed to have being involved in the bombing, Mbuso Libazi and Ndumiso Mahlangu were arrested and charged for arson and malicious damage to property.
“One of the two suspects is said to be a leader of the EFF at the campus and the other a member of the South African Student Congress (Sasco), both will re-appear in court today,” said Capt Eddie Hall, Witbank Communications, on March 15.
Capt Hall stated that since the arrest there have been no further incidents of violence at the campus or the offices.
“It is the students’ constitutional right to protest their dissatisfaction with regards to the campus or fees however when students decide to take their actions towards violence or crime, by committing damage to property or arson, the police will act accordingly and arrest the culprits and charge them accordingly,” said Capt Hall.
In a previous article featured in WITBANK NEWS of January 29, written by Solly Maseko, Sasco claims that while some universities and colleges in the country are engulfed in students protest, all is well at their college. Since last year when the students were involved in the #FeesMustFall campaign a lot has taken place since however.
“We have to be intellectual about it because college management are intellectual people. We cannot be seen vandalising the property of the college. We are busy helping students with their registrations. If we came across any challenges, we intervene not like other student organisations acting like hooligans vandalising our school property. We always do something that will benefit the students not as a show off,” stated Sasco.
Mr Collen Sedibe, EFF Mpumalanga chairperson was contacted for comment regarding the incident yet failed to respond in time for print. There was also no comment from Mr Ntuthuko Makhombothi, Sasco president nor Mr Nhlamulo Mabasa, Sasco office manager on the matter.
The college itself was unable to comment in time for print.