Water-soaked documents, some of them student records, cannot be used again. Pic: Akin Oyedele

Several Wits staff members arrived at work on Tuesday morning, September 4, to find their offices flooded and property destroyed.

The alleged vandals had blocked the basins in some bathrooms with toilet paper in the Chamber of Mines, Commerce, Law and Management (CLM), and FNB buildings, as well as the new science stadium and left the taps running. The tap water flooded offices and passageways overnight.

Water leaked through the roof and broke the ceilings of the CLM faculty offices. Marike Bosman, CLM faculty registrar, said original documents containing students’ marks were destroyed, as well as computers, printers and telephones.

Damp stacks of paper lay on her secretary’s table, and several boxes were moved outside, possibly to be disposed of.

Cleaning staff began work early on Tuesday in the different buildings and worked well into the day.

Bosman said the cost of repair was what upset her the most about the flood.

“Do you know how many students we could have sponsored with the money it will take to repair this?”

She said the faculty had made alternative arrangements to carry on as normal.

Acting vice-chancellor Prof Yunus Ballim said the Legal Office will coordinate insurance claims. He also indicated, via an email sent out to staff, that he was concerned about the security of buildings on campus.

Cleaning staff start to mop up after the vandalism. Pic: Akin Oyedele.


UPDATE: 12 September 2012 – Campus Control Investigations Manager Michael Mahada said investigations into the flood were underway, and declined to share any information regarding culprits or suspects.