On June 8, 2022, a building at Vaal University of Technology (VUT) was set on fire during a student protest.
Starting on June 6, students held protests at VUT demanding the payment of their allowances. On June 8, a VUT building was allegedly set on fire by some students. On June 9, VUT announced the suspension of all academic activities indefinitely and ordered students to vacate university residences.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the destruction of campus property in the course of a student protest. While students and other protesters have a right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, they have a responsibility to exercise these rights peacefully and responsibly. The destruction of campus property harms the ability of higher education communities to safely and adequately conduct research, teaching, and other academic activities. State authorities have a responsibility to protect higher education communities, investigate threats, and hold perpetrators responsible. Such incidents undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)